CDTS project manager Carlton Roberts-James reporting to Cheshire County
Council's Environment Committee upon the results of the council's public consultation:
CDTS Steering Group Chairman Cllr Peter
Byrne at the same meeting
Tory Environment Spokesman David Palmer ditto
Lib Dem County
28/4/99 Is the CDTS busway really good for
Chester? or is it designed to subsidise car-bound visitors instead? Is it
a green gloss way for saying goodbye to the green belt and to the trees, foxes
and birds which live on the old railway line? Is it "accidental" good news for
all those well connected property speculators who have just recently bought
up parcels of land alongside the line?
Or is it a thuggish way of turning hundreds of peaceful back gardens into a
rumbling roadside? And is phase two (westbound- surprisingly not yet under consultation)
going to be a 24 hour bypass for emergency vehicles- as the plans suggest? (Look
at the location of the hospital and fire service right next to it. Even the
police are thinking of relocating to near to its feeder route for Gorse Stacks.)
Is CDTS a megadose of money money money and jobs jobs jobs for the boys of the
County Council engineering depanment at Backward Hall? (Yes- the same boys who
have proudly designed Cheshire, in the past 20 years, to be one of the most
car dependent counties in the UK).
Is the nature of CDTS, as a car subsidy, a recognition of the fact that every
day Cestrians breathe air pollution fmm one of UK's biggest petrochemical and
vehicle building belts? Do these big players feel threatened by the idea of
25 per cent of car commuters giving up and cycling across its own backyard to
work, as happens in York. The cycle to work figure for Chester is around 4%
despite us being a flatter and more compact city. (if only Chester's ring road
were to be traffic calmed instead of being deliberately designed to be cycle
Does the unwavering strength of support by local councillors coincide comfortably
with the fact that Chester city council owns a (potentially privatisable) bus
company which seeks to run its own buses down the CDTS busway?
If the local politicians in the forthcoming local elections won't listen, maybe
writing to the man who holds the keys to the cash pot for CDTS will help. Big
business and the road building lobbyists have already bent his ear at the Government
Office North West. Now it's your turn. Have you written to this key man?
Richard Perry (Transport Strategy), Government Office North West, Cunard
Building, Water Street Liverpool L3 1QB
Mr Perry's job is to examine council claims that they are bidding for and spending
transport money wisely and in a way that local people want. If local politicians
are ignoring us on CDTS, perhaps it is time to go over their heads to appeal
B Johnson, Chester
29/4/99 In answer to Councillor Byrne (15th April,
Points of View). The busway will cost millions to build and will not be a success.
Then it will cost millions more to turn it into another road. I cannot see the
sense in building bus lanes on the roads and also taking this green corridor
for buses, unless there is an ulterior motive.
In the meantime Newton, Hoole and Blacon will have lost its green spaces, so
it will be by this time irrelevant to them. But watch out Mickle Trafford and
Saughall onwards, your green fields are what they are aiming for. Read carefully
the public notice the council put in the paper on the 15th April, about the
Chester Deeside Transport System.
29/4/99 GC Steeland wrote an excellent
letter last week on CDTS. The opening sentence I fear is correct: "The consultation
with Chester residents" is a sham exercise. Not only have enormous sums of our
money been spent on public relations and drawing up plans but the bus route
has already been put in hand. Sustrans have already been employed cutting down
trees and clearing away all the undergrowth for its high level cycle-walking
track to run alongside the new bus route, left wide enough for two buses to
pass each other.
Similarly an enormous area has been cleared to make room for the entry to the
bus route at Blacon. Crosville has been approached as a firm likely to buy and
run the buses, the bridges have been assessed to determine if they need strengthening.
So much money and effort has already gone into the bus scheme that Backford
Hall would have egg all over their faces if it were turned down, so the bus
scheme will go through whatever the people say.
CG Steeland was wrong in only one particular. The new little buses are to be
gas fuelled and silent mercifully. (Oh yes?) The noise and fumes are all to
be located at the far end of Manning's Lane, Hoole where four hectares have
been filched from the green belt to hold 1200 cars. This monstrous car park
joins the motorway from which it is hoped the cars can be enticed instead of
entering Chester. I think the scheme is a fantasy because most people are too
lazy to exchange vehicles. I doubt if it will make enough money to pay the bus
As a resident of Hoole, however, I object to the green belt being attacked in
this way. We have already lost the green spaces which previous councils left
us, to innumerable housing estates. Soon the air we breathe will be as foul
as that of Chester, without any benefit to Chester.
Time was when Chester was a beautiful and dignified cathedral city and county
capital, not the greedy, grasping metropolis it is fast becoming and Hoole
was the prettiest in Cheshire. Lewis Carroll invented a very good verb: "to
uglify". The city and county councils exemplify what it means.
Meg Pendlebury, 292 Hoole Lane Chester
29/4/99 Correspondence in your paper over
recent weeks has shown the strength of opposition to the CDTS/park and ride
proposals, for a wide range of valid reasons. Yet with a week to go to local
elections, the candidates and political parties have nothing to say on the issue
and actively avoid discussing it, preferring trivia and mud-slinging.
Where are the local politicians with the courage (or common sense) to listen
to their electorate rather than council officers and demand at the very least
a thorough reappraisal of the objectives of the CDTS/Park and Ride and the consequences
of its implementation in its current form? They don't appear to be standing
in the Hoole and Newton areas of the city.
Are the silent majority, people like my wife and myself who are now at a loss
to find any individual or party to uphold our views and beliefs, to be compelled
to stay at home on 6th May? That would be a tragedy for local democracy at a
time whn it needs to be strong, when the powers that-be are lurching inexorably
towards the implementation of a half baked set of proposals which will destroy
green belt land, damage the local environment, promote car use at the expense
of local public transport needs and saddle Chester with a white elephant and
In Hoole and Newton, little else matters in local opinion at the moment. We
will support the politicians who support us.
Disenfranchised of Hoole
29/4/99 We apologise for the unfortunate
cancellation of the resident's meeting against the proposed CDTS that was to
be held at Newton County Primary School on Wednesday, 28th April. It is understood
that the school was contacted by the CDTS project manager on Monday, 26th April.
He advised the school that it was possible that more than 200 people may turn
up to the meeting. Additionally, it was suggested that pro-CDTS supporters may
also turn up and cause a "volatile" situation.
We thank the CDTS project manager for his concerns, particularly as his expected
turnout for the meeting was much greater than we originally anticipated. Apparently,
the supposed minority of objectors against the scheme is not such a small number.
It has always been our intention to object in a proper and lawful manner, we
aim to co-ordinate residents' opposition to the scheme so that voices and concerns
of the residents are noted. Therefore, observing the recent resurgence in opposition
to the scheme (a whole page in last week's Standard), it seems appropriate and
fair that opposition to the scheme is united to determine the extent of the
"minority" of people against the scheme.
Finally, we wish to thank Newton County Primary School who were prepared to
give permission to residents to express concern at a non-political meeting.
Residents Against CDTS
29/4/99 I've been moved to join the debate
about the proposed busway by the letter from Cllr Peter Byrne calling it a scheme
to "entice people from their cars", and by yet another article pushing it as
one to "tackle pollution"
Could you please explain to me how building a huge car park on green land and
encouraging people to drive to it does anything to combat pollution or entice
people from their cars? Does Peter Byrne think that cars only give out "fumes
that clog up our airways" while they are in the city centre? This letters page
has thrown up so many examples of how ill-thought out this pmject is that I
am surprised he can blithely call this scheme the "perfect solution" or dare
say that public comments will be given "careful consideration".
Then to top it all the article managed to suggest that our ecologically minded
council planners were gracious putting a cycleway/walkway alongside the busway.
Let's get this straight. The cycleway came first. It will be built a part of
SUSTRANS' network of cyclepaths and footpaths throughout Britain. The council
has hijacked the cycleway as a busway. it has shown no green initiative on this
J. Stringer, 47 Canadian Avenue, Hoole Chester
29/4/99 To the Editor: Daily Post
Your report by Alex Williams last week was clearly inspired by an official Council
Press release and said nothing that has not been covered by such releases in
the past. In the interests of fairness and balance, perhaps some mention should
have been made of the very strong opposition that has been displayed to this
scheme by the residents of Chester over the past four years or so? Despite all
the persuasion and "consultation" exercises, the Councils have failed to provide
any evidence that the traffic congestion in Chester will be relieved by the
scheme. In fact, the scheme (with its one single stop for local residents) will
do nothing for locals- what it will do is to bring more people in cars from
out of town to the Park & Ride, thus increasing pollution and congestion on
the peripheral roads. In addition, because of the increase in the number of
people being deposited from the buses, the pedestrian congestion in the town
(which a recent survey showed to be the main cause of complaint by visitors
to Chester) will be exacerbated. It is clear that the main objective of the
plan is to open up what little remaining Green Space the city has to the developers-
the fields in Mannings Lane to become a car park, the adjacent fields for commercial
development, the Kingsway playing fields for building and the AHC builders yard
for a bus depot. Not to mention Phase 2 which will open up the Sealand Basin
for development and the fields of Flintshire. There appear to be very powerful
interests at work as is evidenced by the commercially driven submissions to
the planning authorities. Protesters are told by local Councillors either that
they are a "vocal minority" - in which case why was so much pressure exerted
to ensure the cancellation of the recent meeting scheduled at Newton School
(and to which over 70 people turned up anyway)? Or, even more astonishingly,
we find that numerous candidates in the forthcoming election have a tendency
to say "well of course I agree that it is a dreadful scheme, but it is inevitable,
and anyway we can't go against the party whip". At the end of the day, councillors
are elected to represent the views of their constituents- not to be cannon fodder
for a dictatorial party machine. Those that show some courage and declare against
the busway between now and next Thursday will pick up a significant number of
extra votes from across party divides. When canvassed, please ask your candidates
exactly where they stand with regard to the CDTS, ask if they have any declarable
interest in bus, supermarket or construction companies. Don't vote for them
unless you are satisfied with their answers.
Nic Siddle 7 Sandileigh Hoole
30/4/99 I have studied the Chester Transport
Study and the local plan.
As a Labour Party member and supporter of the Government's transport policy,
I am totally against Cheshire County and Chester City councils' Transport System
proposals for the Mickle Trafford-Deeside rail link.
I am totally against the Park & Ride facility for 1,200 vehicles in Chester's
precious Green BeIt at Mannings Lane. Their proposals will not reduce the volume
of traffic and pollution, merely move the problem from the city Centre to the
The disused rail line should be used as a green lung for the benefit of residents
as a cycle/ walk route. The present proposals are for the benefit of tourists,
hotels and shops, which provide low paid work for local people. Should the proposals
be given permission from the Secretary of State, we will look back and see what
a mistake has been made, traffic will not have been reduced, and an area of
natural beauty will have been ruined.
Chester's transport problems can be solved by providing an efficient, cheap,
reliable, eco, bus service which residents do not now have, also underground
parking in the city centre for tourists. Visitors do not want to park three
miles from the city Centre. Chester's historic city centre should retain its
size and Green Belt, and not be surrounded with massive Park & Ride facilities.
I am aware of the need for development, but the Chester Deeside Transport System
proposal should not he allowed to continue.
Terry Vernon, Mannings Lane, Hoole, Chester
30/4/99 Little attention has been paid
to the concerns of residents on the trackside of the former Shotton-Mickle Trafford
The planners talk of Park & Ride and a stop between Newton Lane. This Is a good
walk from the city.
The developers have already cut down trees and bushes which made the area attractive
and provided some cover for wildlife.
The scheme would take a lucrative route from buses. There are already more than
enough Park & Rlde areas about Chester.
At a time when the councils are scratching their heads to find money for school
buses and repairs, thisis one item they can scrap. No one wants it.
Dora Taylor, Chester Community/Ratepayers Party
30/4/99 We are bombarded by the CDTS, the
local transport plan, cycle routes that go nowhere, with every kind of solution
to our traffic problems.
Eventually someone has to grasp the nettle of the real issue. When everything
is in place, how are we going to be made to use it?
Are we to restrict parking on the city fringes and up the centre charges yet
There are people who will pay to park in the centre whatever the cost. Many
of these people have the weakest case for being there.
There is one word missing from all the schemes and that is fairness. Has thought
been given to the consequences of cycleways where they won't be overseen but
run close to built up areas thus encouraging vandalism, why is there such coyness
about cycleway provision along some of our major roads where there is room and
they would be of real value?
Alex woods, Long Looms, Great Barrow near Chester
30/4/99 Copy of a letter to John Prescott
I urge you as Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions
to consider the impact of the Chester Deeside Transport System on the environment
and the lives of local people.
Mature trees have been felled and areas to he cleared include those where there
is widespread wildlife.
As Chester is already surrounded by Park & Ride sites, local people cannot see
the need for yet another. We want the old rail route converted into a cycle
and walkway only.
Our city and county councils are obsessed with cramming as many bodies into
Chester as possible. As a result, local people are now beginning to shop elsewhere
in the area, travelling to Ellesmere Port, Mold and even Warrington, in a bid
to escape the crush.
Chester Is becoming dirtier and more unpleasant, due mainly to the fact that
so many more visitors are swarming here.
The councils appear to be led by disciples of consumerism, who have no concern
for the opinions of the people whose views they are supposed to represent. Please
listen to the voices of the local population. New Labour would earn a great
deal of support from many residents if it refused to be persuaded by projected
statistics and costly exhibitions into giving an unwanted scheme the go ahead.
One only has to look at the letters pages of the local press to see that there
is huge opposition to CDTS.
What is the point of these so-called consultations if the councils can apparently
disregard the view of residents and go on planning these money making schemes
as if it is a foregone conclusion that the CDTS will be realised. Is it that
the provincial person has no clout these days? As you know from vour peronal
association with Chester, the 1997 General Election was an historic victory
for the Labour Party in our city, We had high hopes that our support would be
Please do not waste up to £7million of central Government funding on a system
that the majority of Chester residents neither need nor want.
Sue Parry, Kelvin Grove, Newton Brook, Chester
30/4/99 I refer to consultation on the
CDTS and the views expressed by Cllr Peter Byrne.
What is clogging up the historic streets of Chester is not cars but people.
The city is bursting at its seams. Chester is an historic city, with a unique
shopping centre and a strong sense or commercial opportunism.
Not much will change that and people will continue to come. What is desperately
needed in the city centre is more extensive pedestrianisation with access restricted
to those with specific needs.
Shoppers and commuters will always try to park free in residential areas close
to the city.
Annoying as this is to many residents, it will not be resolved by more Park
and Rides without deterrent measures in place.
The population of Chester itself is growing rapidly. Dukes Manor, Newry Park
and the canal basin development are just some examples on this side of the city-
What amenities does Chester offer its increasing population? Very little.
A city centre overcrowded to saturation if not danger point, historic walls
too busy to enjoy, the Groves and park no longer a relaxing place, a leisure
centre out of date and out of place, devoting more time to computer and antique
fairs than facilities for residents. Every piece of green sold off to development.
Now councillors have a chance to do something for this city- something outstanding
and probably courageous.
They must resist the lure of money. They must turn away the planners and political
elitists who see their epitaphs etched in the concrete of the busway.
They must reject a proposal that offers little to the residents or Chester.
They must give resounding support to a cycle/walkway, which would enhance the
quality of life for so many providing a safe recreational environment for young
and old, resident or visitor.
Chester does not need a busway with a glorified pavement enclosed by fences
upon which ramblers, dog owners, runners, cyclists and families will have to
compete with each other for space.
PA Lambe, Abbots Grange, Chester
6/5/99 The former railway line from Mickle
Trafford to Deeside should be for walkers and cyclists only- no buses as they
do not mix because of their noise, air pollution and danger when leaving or
joining the route... This green corridor should be adapted as a valuable amenity
and green space for local residents and visitors alike.
Go and see the Wirral Way or the old track from Dyserth to Prestatyn- both of
those routes have been utilised as walkways and cycleways- with no bus intrusion.
They are well used by locals especially- and the same would be true here, from
Shotton to Mickle Trafford.
Another point, as rail freight has increased by approximately 10 per cent this
year, should not the authorities he cautious about transforming this rail route
in case it is needed in the future?
Another idea is that maybe a single line tramway would suffice to the city centre.
At least it would he environmentally friendly, hardly any pollution and could
serve a park and ride.
Also, if inspectors from the Department of Transport insist on bus lanes on
Hoole Road there would then be no need for such a busway along the green and
pleasant former rail route.
Keep the trees, vegetation, wild animals and flowers intact. We do not want
to see these destroyed. I use my bicycle to go to work. This route would be
a great help. Encourage cyclists. Visit Europe to see cyclists galore!
John Whittingham, Hoole, Chester
6/5/99 If you know of anyone who is thinking
of running a book on the outcome of the CDTS busway scheme, will you please
let me know as I would like to place a small wager.
Had I bet on the controversy over the Town Hall masts, I'm afraid I would have
lost my money.
D C Musto, Vicars Cross
7/5/99 Chester Green Forum is offering
some financial assistance to local groups and organisations which are fighting
to save Chester's green space.
Groups may find they need help in either publicising the issues to the local
people, or preparing a case for the public inquiry when objecting to the Local
The Local Plan is a crucial document for the people of Chester and it is important
we all understand the consequences of its contents and object to any proposal
we think will adversely affect our quality of life.
Silence is taken as approval and it is very difficult to reverse anything that
is included in the final version.
One important aspect that affets us all is the ever-diminishing amount of green
space, whether it is fields, parks, disused railways or school playing fields.
This is particularly the case in the Sealand Basin where there are so many issues-
CDTS- guided busway instead of a greenway, Chester Western Relief Road- with
all the associated development and traffic, B&Q warehouse- with all the additional
traffic, Blacon Meadows- ever decreasing in each version of the plan, allotments-
disappearing despite great support, and playing fields disappearing.
As Chester Green Forum will not be organising the annual Chester Green Day this
year they have decided to divert £300 of their funds to help local groups in
the fight to save green space.
If you wish to make a bid for this money then send a letter to the address below
by May18th, giving details of your group, the issue you are campaigning against,
how much you want to bid for and what you would use the money for.
Given the number of items around, and the deficiencies of the consultation process
to planning issues, it is not easy to grasp a good understanding of what is
being proposed. However, there are acute consequences to ignoring it all so
please make the effort to find out how your area will be affected by the plan.
Consultation on the plan will take place between May 10 and June 18. Contact
Town Hall for details of where to view plan and how to make objections to it.
CHESTER GREEN FORUM, c/o 32 Granville Road, Chester CH1 4DD
12/5/99 Readers may be interested in
studying the following recommendations regarding the future use of the disused
Mickle Trafford-Deeside railway. Their origin- revealed below- may prove surprising...
"The Structure Plan identifies Chester
as an area where more investment is needed in small scale improvements for provision
of countryside recreation on the fringe of the urban area. The Greater Chester
District Plan identifies Blacon and Hoole as as areas where there should be
additional parks or informal open spaces.
Cyclists are badly catered for in the countryside and the government is urging
local authorities to make use of disused railway lines to provide cycling facilities.
The potential of Cheshire as a tourist attraction for cyclists has only recently
been recognised. If the line were developed for cycling it would provide an
excellent link between the new Cheshire cycleway, which meets Chester on its
eastern boundary, and possible new routes leading into Wales and Wirral.
One of the most important factors influencing people's willingness to cycle
is safety from heavy volumes of traffic. A segregated cycletrack with potential
access to the city centre, college and industrial areas could offer significant
advantages to shoppers, workers, students etc., and could also offer a safe
area for younger cyclists to improve their proficiency. Such a proposal would
have to be combined with adequate access points and with secure cycle parks
at appropriate points, eg. the Northgate Arena.
The path would have a smooth surface which would be suitable for pedestrians
as well as cycles, wheelchairs and prams. It would also provide a path for dog
Through the urban area, from Blacon in the west to Newton in the east, such
a combined cyeletrack/pedestrian route (urban path) would provide a safe route
from residential areas to the City centre. Access to the track could be provided
at strategic locations to serve the adjacent residential areas.
The former Blacon Station site is considered a suitable point at which to start
the urban path, while Mannings Lane South would be a convenient terminal point
where access could be safe1y provided away from busy main roads.
Horses. Any provision for safe riding is clearly welcomed. Guilden Sutton Parish
Council have requested that the line in their area be converted for such use.
If some footpaths linking the line with minor roads were upgraded to bridleway,
and provided with a suitable surface, attractive safe cross-country routes could
be created from Chester into Wirral and to Delamere Forest.
Natural History. Most of the route passes through banks of trees and bushes
which attract birds and insects. There are many common wildflowers. Immediately,
therefore the line has interest for the natural historian. Careful development
could enhance this interest. Sympathetic management linked to interpretation
could create a 'reserve' of considerable interest to the average walker and
for those concerned with natural history education. Areas readily accesible
in, or adjacent to the city which are managed to create a natural environment
are few. The natural historical interest of the line would therefore be of general,
touristic and educational value.
Construction. If the existing railway ballast is left in place, then a satisfactory
hard surface could be provided by reshaping the ballast, binding with a fine
granular material and surfacing with tarmac. The path would be three metres
wide with the remaining width of ballast being soiled over to provide a grassed
margin. Street lighting would he provided along the length of the path to aid
security, although it is anticipated that use at night would be limited.
Management. In order to combat vandalism motorcycling would be prohibited and
the Urban Path would be under Ranger management. The maintainance of the path
would be the responsiibility of the Highways Department.
Landscaping. The margins of the land surface adjacent to the path would he allowed
to merge into adjacent planting to avoid a hard edge to the path. Due to the
constraints imposed by embankments and cuttings, the only immediate landscape
work would be extensive planting. Trees and shrubs could be planted to frame
views and to provide shelter on the more exposed lengths. Shrub planting could
be allowed to encroach so that long vistas on straight portions of the path
are broken up. Where space permits, the path could be widened to make room for
small seating areas.
Past experience shows that, once a railway line is abandoned, much natural regeneration
takes place in the plant communities which exist alongside the line. The new
planting would reinforce this natural regeneration. Landscaping on a larger
scale could be carried out by removing embankments and reshaping the cutting
areas. Whilst this work could lessen the visual intrusion of the embankments
for adjoining property, it is a relatively expensive operation and it is considered
that extensive planting would achieve acceptable results. The urban path would
provide a safe and convenient route for pedestrians and cyclists from residential
areas into the city centre. It would benefit the people of Chester, make a contribution
to provision for the 'leisure age' and create a new focus for tourism."
Admirable stuff eh? A vision of a peaceful,
but practical, green highway very much according with the wishes of the vast
majority of Chester's residents, if the multitude of objections to CDTS in the
local press- and on councillors and planners desks- over the last few years
are anything to go by.
How surprising then, to learn that the above excellent recommendations were
in fact made by own dear Cheshire County Council in a report published in August
In the fifteen years since this report was published there has been a great
increase in local environmental concern, but at the same time a considerable
worsening in conditions for pedestrians and cyclists- to the degree where there
exists virtually nowhere at all in Chester where we can cycle in peace and safety
as a family- as well as the rapid disappearance of our green open spaces: Blacon
Meadows, the Stone Park and the lovely reserve behind Northgate Village are
just a few of the 'appropriations' going on right now.
Those of you concerned about the current idiotic CDTS plans should read this
report in its entirety- I found it in the reference section of Chester Library.
Its numerous well-reasoned, forward-looking recommendations make for fascinating
reading when compared with the present scandalous proposals. Its like has not
come out of Backward Hall for many years, so maybe it is high time it was dusted
off and presented to Chester's citzens as 'the other side' of what, to date,
has been seen by all as a grossly biased council programme of consultation and
Steve Howe, 25 Lime Grove, Hoole Chester
13/5/99 John Whittingham of Hoole (see
above) is right that CDTS should be built as a modern tramway, instead of a
busway. Being electrically powered, supertrams are clean, quiet and create no
fumes. Thus they would be harmonious with the adjacent cycle/walkway, and would
satisfy local residents' concerns.
A modern tram can carry more people than a bus. So whereas the busway would
serve the park-and-ride only, supertrams would have room to also carry Cestrians
from local stops in Newton, Hoole, Noiihgate Village, etc.
Nottingham's new trams will run onto main line rail tracks. Here in Chester,
they could run beyond the city boundaries to Flint for example, or to Helsby
and Frodsham. Impossible with a busway.
Around the world light rail systems have succeeded in enticing people out of
their cars. Patronage on Manchester's Metrolink is booming. In contrast, bus
usage has been declining continually since the 1950s and buses are regarded
by motorists as down-market.
In a nutshell, building CDTS as a light rail system would do more to solve the
city's transport pmblems than a busway, be more environmentally friendly, be
compatible with the Sustrans walk/cycleway, would satisfy local residents' concerns
and could serve a much wider area in the long term.
How about it city and county councillors?
Green Transport Campaigner
13/5/99 I didn't vote in last Thursday's
local elections. i As a strong believer in democracy and citzenship, this is
the first time in over 20 years I have failed to register my vote. So perhaps
I need to say why.
Firstly, the sense that local councillors no longer purport to represent the
people they were elected to serve- CDTS being one prime example, among many.
Secondly, the candidates for the Waverton seat. I heard nothing at all from
the Labour person (no leaflet or visit), received two unimpressive leaflets
from the Conservative candidate and a welcome visit from the Lib Dem councillor.
He didn't appear to know the local Lib Dem view on CDTS, and questioned why
I should be bothered about it, presumably because I live in Waverton. Now he
seemed a perfectly reasonable bloke, but none of this is a reason to vote for
him. So I voted for no one.
I think the message is clear to local politicians- you need to do better!
Richard Sayle, 98 Ringway, Waverton, Chester
13/5/99 The public consultation figures
provided by Cheshire County Council show that the Chester Deeside Transport
System (CDTS) does not have the backing of the people living in Chester.
Most of the support for the CDTS has come from areas outside Chester, such as
Wrexham, Comah's Quay, Northwich, Frodsham, HeIsby and Ellesmere Port. The Government
White Paper on Transport requires major expnsive transport schemes such as this
to have the backing of the local community- this does not.
Ann Jones, Planning Co-ordinator, Chester District CPRE, 101 Daleside, Upton
13/5/99 How much the Chester busway proposal
resembles transport boondoggles on this side of the pond. Another over-designed
and over-financed 'solution' built on the non-sequitur that public transit gets
people out of cars. it just isn't so and never has been, not in the US, the
UK or any place else for that matter. Automobile ownership is a function of
disposable income, and when there's plenty of it, as there is now, you can expect
miles driven to increase and keep on increasing until the next depression.
As for the idea that the proposed bus corridor could become a cycling alternative,
forget that too. It may be cultural imperative to do so in Amsterdam, but expecting
people to cycle to work or shopping who have never done so is even more unrealistic
than bus travel. Instead, a bikeway should be looked on as a recreational path
that has the capacity to be used for personal business, should that someday
become the local custom.
As for derailing the busway, the bureaucrats who have proposed it are the problem.
Find an out for them and the money they want to spend and the plan might be
defeated. Could the corridor become part of a dedicated bike loop around the
Mersey Estuary, perhaps?
Dick Mackay, Hanover, NH, USA
13/5/99 May we thank you for your unbiased
editing and publishing of Points of View pages, which are always of interest,
especially the remarks passed about the amazing plans for CDTS, the mind boggling
busway very few people want, with the ever increasing circles of Park and Ride
sites. OK if you are a car I guess! Now there are one or two really important
points we should like to pick up on.
1. The statement that Hoole Road would become an "essential traffic road only".
This sent the old minds in a whirl I can tell you. Human nature being what it
is, the next route used by traffic unable to use Hoole Road, you've got it.
Kingsway- so the council make that an "essential traffic only road" and the
busway. Why? He won't have to wait to get out on to Hoole Road he confided.
Hold on a minute, sir, are you essential traffic? Sorry to burst your pretty
2. This busway is supposed to remove congestion. Perhaps some councillor could
tell us why they are cutting public buses and hiking up school bus fares from
48p to 95p a child? Is this another secret weapon to stop congestion? Are we
spinning or is someone else?
3. Not on Points of View pages I know, but a little bird has whispered in my
ear, is it true or false, all Cheshire residents will be paying for the next
25 years for the proposed CDTS.
13/5/99 Preservation Group wishes to thank
the 200 residents who attended the CDTS residents' meeting on 5th May. The meeting
was open to all, whether for or against the CDTS. It should be noted, however,
that there was 100 per cent opposition to the project. The main issues discussed
I. Northgate Village green park will be severely affected- even the ponds will
2. Chris Blandford Associates who are carrying out the environmental asseswnent
have a conflict of interests, as they supplied the artist's impression for CDTS
promotional literature. They therefore cannot be considered independent. The
environment assessment document is due for release on Monday, 10th May, and
people have just 18 days to comment.
3. People's views are not being voiced by their elected councillors. People
want councillors who listen and act on their behalf.
4. Council acting unlawfully by not allowing the public access to the comment
5. People at the meeting discussed putting protest comments on electoral ballot
form to voice their feelings.
6. The majority of Chester district people voted against the project. On the
council's breakdown of 'other category' forms received, the 360 in favour of
the project came from outside the Chester district area, i.e. Wrexham, Frodsham,
Helsby and Connah's Quay, etc. People thought consulting such areas as these
to be grossly unjust and against democracy.
The CPG are arranging another meeting in the very near future (19th May:
All Saint's church hall, Hoole Road!) where councillors and other council
officials will be requested to attend.
Clint Hughes, Paul Hobbs on behalf of the Cheshire Preservation Group