CBO Transport was commissioned by the Tatton and Millington Estates and a local action group to prepare an objection to the A556 Knutsford to Bowden Highway Scheme. The scheme proposal was to provide a new dual carriageway route through open countryside between the M6 at Junction 19 and M56 Junction 7. It would replace the existing A556 road.
The scheme is being promoted by the Highways Agency through the provisions of the 2008 Planning Act for Infrastructure of National Importance. It was the first time that the Highways Agency had promoted a scheme in this way and one of the key elements of our work was to identify areas where the Highways Agency's actions could be construed to be out of line with the provisions of the Act for future challenge. There were a number of these identified including the fact that the Consultation was on Options but no further Consultation was undertaken on the scheme taken through to application.
Our technical work focused on 3 key areas:
- Short comings of the scheme. These included lack of identified need, connection to congested junctions, lack of significant highway benefit (travel time and safety) and environmental benefit for a very small number of people.
- Short comings of the traffic model, highlighting areas where the model was producing clearly erroneous predictions.
- Consideration of Alternatives. Identification of a possible scheme to provide the south to east links at M6 Junction 20 and an on line solution.
Our report was submitted with the Estate's objections and those of the local action group.