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Sunday 6 December 2009

The Stationary Station Scheme

As I posted recently, CREAM put forward their contribution to the “masterplanning” process at their recent Heritage Centre presentation. This was in advance of meetings and decisions with the new Cheshire East Council in the driving seat, but so far everything has gone quiet. Moreover, my email prompt to one of the councillors hasn’t even been answered, and the next relevant meeting – to which the general public, in contrast to the CREAM presentation, aren’t invited – is next Wednesday.

The silence from Cheshire East, together with the leaked suggestion that the Crewe Gateway scheme (leaving the station in its current location and updating it) did not have a “valid business case”, has caused concern. If the Gateway scheme had not had a sound business case, it would not have been put forward in the first place, and, as nothing of any substance has changed in the meantime, one can only wonder how the new Council has arrived at its conclusion.

That concern was voiced in an article that has appeared in the local press, the main contributor being Labour PPC David Williams. There has been no comment from MP Edward Timpson, but neither has he dissented from Williams’ line. It is certainly strange that Cheshire East Council is apparently still considering the crackpot idea of moving the station out of town, especially given that Network Rail (and it’s their rail network) abandoning the idea, not least because they cannot fund the necessary track and signalling works.

Also, one of the consultants advising Cheshire East tells in its literature of its commitment to “sustainable” solutions, and such an attribute could not be associated with a scheme that forces more punters to get in their cars and drive, just to be able to catch a train. All eyes are now on Wednesday’s meeting at the Alex Stadium: it is to be hoped that the Basford move will be dropped for good, and that the Gateway scheme can proceed.

More news as it appears.

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