About half a mile from the centre of Alsager is the turn-off to Edwards Way. Many a large HGV has turned up here because the Satnav has confused this turn with the nearby one to the Twyfords Factory, much hated by a certain class at Highfields Primary School – the Year 4′s went to Chester Zoo and we get to go to a TOILET FACTORY! – but be that as it may, Edwards Way starts off innocuously:
It then proceeds to meander inoffensively through a rather nice housing estate, of the sort where front gardens are meticulously mown and cars are washed of a Sunday.
The problem is that this road is meandering back towards the centre of Alsager, and just when it gets really close to the shops and amenities at stops with no way through.
Now no way through for cars is not necessarily a bad thing; but no way through for bikes or pedestrians? If you are unlucky enough (I am using a kind adjective here) to live at the far end of Edwards Way, your journey to the Coop to buy your morning paper or a pint of milk looks like this:
This journey of nearly a mile is more than most people are willing to walk. Of course this could be cycled….. but the lack of bikes in Edwards Way is another matter for another day.
The journey to the Coop could have looked like this:
The red section would have required a path through one existing garden to connect to existing roads. The trip is now 0.3 miles long, more than half a mile shorter. The result of this is that the residents of Edwards Way have become utterly car-dependent.
The Edwards Way Estate consists of about 134 houses, most of which would have benefited substantially by having bike and pedestrian access to the centre of the village. How on earth did this happen? And would such a scheme get the go-ahead today?
I cycled down to the far end of Edwards Way and chatted to a friendly family who live there. They were not at all perturbed by the lack of access, saying they rather liked the isolation. But they added that their teenage children had hated it, having a long walk to the centre. Their son had walked to school, but their daughter refused and had to be driven every day.
That poor child!