THE Northwich Transport Strategy (2017) commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, and produced by Mott Macdonald Consultants, identified several severe pinch points (junctions over capacity) within Northwich and the surrounding area.

As a resident of Hartford I would like to highlight in particular the results of that survey that directly appertain to that area.

In its overview pamphlet Mott Macdonald stated the following (and I quote verbatim): “The future capacity of the road network is of concern due to the number of substantial developments planned or currently under construction.

There are a number of corridors experiencing congestion, eg the A559 Hartford corridor experiences severe levels of school related congestion. There are concerns about poor air quality for residents in areas of congestion. The distribution of local services eg the concentration of schools in Hartford.”

As consultees on the current application for further development at Land Off School Lane Hartford (17/01954/FUL) CWAC Highways concluded: “I would advise that I do not consider that a reason for refusal, based on a severe impact on the operation of the highway network, would be suitably robust given that the additional journey time delays would be limited and not of such a scale as to severely worse the existing and future forecast conditions and subject to the conditions below being attached to any permission granted.”

The conditions amount to little more than an extension of the developer’s travel plan – which has never succeeded in reducing congestion created by the extant development.

I would like to know how Cheshire West and Chester Council can spend £162,614.23 (sum obtained under Freedom of Information) on a highly technical report, conducted by experts in the their field, that identifies severe congestion in Hartford, and then completely ignore the findings of that report?

Phil Herbert Hartford Resident