News In and Around Ashley
The Prime Minister has given the HS2 Railway the Go Ahead
It was announced on February 12th 2020 that the Prime Minister has given the go ahead for the first part of the HS2 railway from London to Birmingham and on to Crewe.
He committed to both the London to Birmingham rail line and the next phase from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, saying he would integrate the project with Northern Powerhouse Rail, a wider scheme which included a fast link between Leeds and Manchester.
However, the Prime Minister stated that he would want a review of the northern phase of HS2 (which affects Ashley) as he believed that the route had not necessarily been well thought out, nor was it fully cost effective.
For more information please visit the HS2 page on this website
M56 Smart Motorway Junctions 6 - 8 Update
In January, work started on the M56 Smart Motorway project, the aim of the project is to increase capacity and reduce congestion, they will convert the motorway to all lanes running and introduce enforceable speed restrictions during peak times. The changes will be from Junction 8 (Lymm roundabout) to junction 6 (Hale Barns) - right past Ashley!
When the hard shoulder has been converted to a running lane, we will have 8 lanes of Motorway traffic running past Ashley! Breaking down on the motorway is stressful and hazardous when waiting on the hard shoulder, when there is no hard shoulder.
There is some good news; Ashley Parish Council have persuaded Highways England (HE) to resurface the whole motorway with low noise tarmac, they initially only planned to only resurface half of it - so we are likely to experience a reduction in motorway noise once the project is completed.
Not such good news - HE are still refusing to build a sound barrier for Ashley despite what is recommended in their own Environmental Manuals and the Parish Council's noise campaign. This is a missed opportunity to significantly reduce Ashley's noise nuisance.
It gets worse. There is also due to be some vegetation clearance starting in January. It is likely that some of the mature trees around the Cow Lane Bridge will be cut down - this will be devastating for the visual impact of the Motorway. HE have assured us that the clearance will be kept to a minimum. All trees will be replaced (with saplings c. 2 foot high!) and we are asking that the planting density be increased and include a greater proportion of evergreen trees, so that in the medium/long term, the visual screen will develop again and may actually be better.
With lane closures and diversions, Ashley is likely to suffer from increased congestion at times;- our already poorly maintained roads will be under more pressure. Increased volumes of traffic and impatient commuters who may not be familiar with the roads could increase hazards.
HE have created a public comment facility on their website which can be found, COMMENT HERE
If you have any concerns or views on the project, particularly aspects that impact Ashley (e.g. lack of sound barrier, congestion in the Village, damage to our roads caused by increased traffic volumes, vegetation clearance etc.) then please add a comment.
You can also email them: Highways England Smart Motorway
Ashley PC remains determined to persuade HE to provide a sound barrier for the stretch of the motorway that passes Ashley and to introduce other sound mitigation methods. Our campaign continues.
We need new ideas and help for the next stage of the motorway noise mitigation campaign. If you would like to help, please contact John Sherratt
A Walk in Ashley
Jo Phillips, of Manchester Metropolitan University, spent a lot of time in and around Ashley as part of her PhD research. Apart from becoming a well loved person by everyone in Ashley, Jo created a mapping project which resulted in a hand drawn map of a walk in Ashley which also shows the alignment of the HS2. A description of the map can be found HERE and the map itself HERE