Trafford’s Decide, Announce, Defend approach for the CRR continues!

(They say on their website that “Once the initial design plans are completed, we will hold a public consultation“)

Rather than moving to the more appropriate Engage, Deliberate, Decide method, which would fully involve communities in the design.

We were very disappointed to discover, from another organisation, that Trafford is holding workshops to design the logo for a “project relating to people who work, live, and travel within Carrington, Partington and Sale West“, but they are not engaging with the communities who are supposed to be benefiting.

Neither the Parish Councils, nor ourselves, nor other community organisations in the area have been consulted or invited to these workshops.  In fact, we have not heard from the CRR project team since October and have had no information about progress in the plans for the Carrington Relief Road, nor the consultation that was supposed to be happening last year.

This is a very poor approach to communicating with communities.  We were not even informed that the Council’s webpage has been updated, although this is, once again, an opportunity for Trafford to be less than accurate with their information.  We note, for example, that the webpage states that the “Carrington Relief Road is one part of the Places for Everyone Plan” yet the Planning Inspectors at the P4E Hearings were told by a Trafford representative that it is not being considered as part of that Plan!

The website also states that “We continue to have conversations with the local community and others to understand their priorities”.  We have asked our partners in the Parish Councils and other local community groups.  None are aware of any communication.  So, we have asked for information about how the CRR team are engaging with the local community and will send out an update when we receive a response!

Looking at the Council’s webpage, Trafford suggests that the A6144 is heavily congested by both cars and HGVs – this is a direct consequence of the Planning Applications that have been approved by Trafford’s Planning Committee, despite the lack of sustainable passenger or freight transport options proposed for the area. 

Whilst Trafford are proposing to build new roads (4 are planned to be constructed across Carrington Moss), local residents will not see any benefits because of the huge volume of traffic that has been approved.  Air, noise and light pollution (along with carbon emissions) will also increase substantially in this area. 

Trafford has refused to provide information about increased traffic levels, despite our repeated requests, and Carrington Parish Council’s formal Freedom of Information Act request, but we have reviewed recent planning applications and have extracted some information to help us understand the numbers.

These figures will rise significantly if the Places for Everyone proposals are approved by the Planning Inspectors.

In the meantime, Trafford suggests that the Carrington Relief Road will provide:

a new convenient route to encourage HGVs to divert away from the congested A6144but with so many HGVs, almost all going to and from the Carrington Spur, drivers will continue to use the existing road (in fact some businesses have said that they need to use the A6144 through Carrington)
deliver improvements to make travelling by bus easier and saferwe do not believe constructing a new road across Carrington Moss will have any impact at all on bus travel, especially given the number of additional vehicles on local roads
provide new routes to enjoy when travelling by foot, bike and horse.there are no funding commitments for new routes for active travel users and there are currently no plans (and no funding) for crossings for the Carrington Relief Road – this will leave active travel users facing unhealthy, unsafe and unpleasant journeys that will be discouraging due to the lack of circular routes for recreation and the unrealised expectation that active travel commuters can safely use a deserted A6144.

Trafford states that there will be a “combination of travel improvements that will open opportunities to accessing local jobs and new homes. Improving access to both local businesses and new developments in the area” but there are no plans for trams or trains, no additional bus services, and no community transport to employment areas.  What their documents seem to suggest is that local commuters will be encouraged to cycle or walk!

The website continues by confirming that “new routes for walking, cycling and horse riding will be provided”, yet, as mentioned above, there is no confirmed funding for these improvements and construction on a peat moss will be complex and expensive, with developers being required to contribute to the Relief Road, affordable housing, green spaces and school places – so we are sceptical about their ability to fund active travel routes as well.

We will welcome the opportunity to review the results of the surveys and assessments that are being carried out.  Trafford states that they “look forward to sharing more information on how the moss will be cared for in 2023”, yet the moss will be all but destroyed by the volume of development proposed. 

We worked with our partners to create an Alternative Transformation Strategy for Carrington Moss some time ago, see the short video on our you tube channel here.  It is a pity Trafford are not listening to the advice they have had from Natural England, to the information shared by specialist organisations, such as Cheshire and Lancashire Wildlife Trusts, and to the feedback from their local communities.

Trafford state that “Once the initial design plans are completed, we will hold a public consultation”.  This means that they will have spent public money on developing a design using consultants who have not spoken to anyone who lives in the local communities!

Given their plans for extensive development in the area, Trafford should have consulted with residents about the implementation of sustainable passenger and freight transport options, before deciding on a new road (across a peat moss, grade 2 agricultural land, woodland and wetland habitats).

Trafford is progressing the least sustainable of all the options available

The website suggests that our feedback will be “considered and where possible the design will be reviewed and updated where appropriate” but the Council has not conscientiously considered our previous inputs (see our blog about our struggle to secure genuine consultation).  

Finally, Trafford has included a documents library on the webpage.  Do take a look at our previous blogs which analyse those reports in detail.  They are factually incorrect, misleading and biased as we set out in the following:

Trafford ReportFOCM Blog
Scrutiny Committee Report, September 2022
(not on Trafford’s list)  
Has the CRR been fully scrutinised?
Executive report, July 2022  Another biased and misleading report
Scrutiny Committee, January 2022
(not on Trafford’s list)
A biased and misleading Option Appraisal
Our struggle to secure genuine consultation
How many vehicles can we expect on local roads?
Is the CRR the only show in town?
Is it necessary to build on green belt?
What was promised in previous local plans?  
Executive report, September 2021  What does this report mean for residents?
Preferred Option Report, August 2021  Presenting our petition to Full Council
Also see blog above.
Carrington Relief Road Options Report, December 2020  This report specifically related to proposed consultation about the CRR, with the report clearly demonstrating that Trafford are not aware of the meaning of consultation (see graphic below)!
 This did not happen!!!The report suggests that “Once feedback has been collated and categorised, the project team will then host online feedback sessions which tackle individual areas of interest or concern such as traffic congestion, environmental impact, drainage and flooding, and so on”.  
Preliminary Options Appraisal Report, October 2020

Outline Business Case, December 2019  
Discussed on the Carrington Link Road page of our website Much of the information in these early reports was totally inaccurate (see our letter to Trafford’s CEO) and there was no consideration of the more sustainable alternatives set out in our graphic above.  
An engagement presentation on two shortlisted options and transcript  See our comments above and the blog about Our struggle to secure genuine consultation

Sadly, as the Decide, Announce, Defend approach endures, community input looks set to continue to be woeful, which is not how Trafford is addressing change in other parts of the Borough!

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