Category Archives: CRR

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!

Consultation about the CRR – has it been fully Scrutinised?

The Carrington Relief Road, which IS going to impact irreplaceable habitats and the lives of residents in Carrington, Partington and Sale West, is being pushed ahead at speed.

Don’t be fooled by the spin as Trafford promote their plans for this road.  It is not going to bring benefits to any resident any time soon.  In fact, quite the opposite – read on. 

We would encourage you all to watch the recording of Trafford’s Scrutiny Committee on 21st September (the CRR item starts at 30:04 and only lasts for around 20 minutes).  You will find the papers here (go to page 47 of the pack).

It is interesting that paragraph 4.2 of the report states that, due to its regional significance, community and stakeholders should be as fully involved in the scheme as possible.

If that is the case, why didn’t residents have the opportunity to give our views on which of the options from the Core Strategy 2012 would bring the most benefits?

Given that Trafford totally missed out that first step in the process – why wasn’t there a consultation that gave residents the opportunity to provide their views on the preferred route option? 

At the Scrutiny Committee meeting Councillor Williams confirmed that the response rate for that previous exercise was poor and that the recent meeting between Ward Councillors and the project team was focused on how participation can be increased. 

Councillor Williams expressed his concern that there are a lot of responses from outside the Bucklow St Martins Ward. 

As there has been NO consultation to date, we assume his comments relate to that March 2021 initiative and can confirm that our inputs certainly did include feedback from Bucklow St Martins residents. 

In addition, whilst FOCM membership covers all the above Parishes and Sale West (and includes many residents who live in the Bucklow St Martins Ward), when we met with the project team we invited those Parish Councils to join us, along with Positive Partington and Peak and Northern Footpaths Society.  This has always been our approach and, when we responded to the previous exercise, it was collaborative feedback from all those groups. 

So, has Councillor Williams been misinformed?

In addition, it must be emphasised that Sale West residents will be significantly and negatively impacted by this road.  Bucklow St Martins extends into the Sale West area, so when, as mentioned at the meeting, Councillor Williams goes “door to door” it would be useful for those who live in Sale West to also have a voice.

Let’s look at the reality of previous consultations related to this area!

Trafford does not have an impressive record of engaging with our communities and when residents do provide their views about the CRR or New Carrington, they are studiously ignored (see our previous blog for more information).  This 2 minute video shows how differently local residents are treated when compared to others in Trafford.

The Scrutiny Committee heard, following a question from Councillor Butt, that the overall parameters of the scheme have already been decided, so any future consultation must be clear about what views are actually being sought.

Whilst it is heartening that the Council wish to undertake some specific consultation about the selected route (Councillor Williams suggested this would include giving our views about the vegetation at the side of the road), it seems resident influence will be limited to a few design features.

Scrutiny Committee members raised a number of concerns about the contents of the report.  Councillor Axford, for example, asked how, given residents needed to understand the environmental impact (paragraph 7.2), Trafford would balance those messages (relating to increased pollution and carbon emissions) with the promotion of the road.

Councillor Coggins highlighted that only the positive aspects of the implications (page 2 of the report, page 48 of the pack) have been revealed (just like a sales brochure).  So, no mention of the increased carbon emissions caused by the road, and also no mention of how vulnerable groups will be targeted in the consultation, no mention of how the road will support sustainable development (or not), no mention of the risks to local residents of increased surface water flooding and no mention of the increased air, noise and light pollution that will impact the health and wellbeing of local residents and threatened bird/wildlife species!

Paragraph 1.4 states that the road will bring significant benefits to Carrington and Partington communities.  We disagree!  Trafford’s own documents state that only 60% of the traffic (including HGVs) will use the new road.  Traffic volumes will increase significantly due to Trafford’s plans to approve developments for 5,000 homes and 350,000 m2 warehouses in the area.  This will leave Carrington surrounded by roads (an island in a sea of air, noise and light pollution and, of course, the issues caused by excessive vibrations from HGVs).  We do not perceive any benefits for Partington from this road, especially as a large number of new homes have already been approved, which will result in more traffic on existing routes, a situation that could be exacerbated further by the decision on the increased toll charges for Warburton Bridge, which comes before the Planning Inspector in November.

There is, as always, no mention in the report of the negative impact on Sale West residents of increased air, noise and light pollution and increased risk of significant levels of surface water flooding. 

Given their declaration of a climate emergency, Trafford should be aiming to reduce vehicles on existing roads. There is no justification for building more roads, which will encourage even more traffic.

The Council is keen to emphasise that Partington residents want to see the new road being implemented (paragraph 11.3) but we would encourage all residents in all communities to do their research – there is already a lot of evidence that new roads create new traffic, for example.  The more sustainable solutions we mention above would bring more benefits to residents.  Contact us if you’d like to discuss this further.

Councillor Thompson highlighted that key stakeholder events (including any with Friends of Carrington Moss) were missing from the future timetable (Appendix 2 -Outline Programme for Future Engagement and Consultation Events) and was advised that this is an oversight due to the meetings not yet being scheduled.

Clearly, there is more information to come

And, finally,

whilst the MEN reported on the meeting, there has been no request to FOCM for comment.