COUNCIL chiefs are pressing ahead with plans for a walking and cycling route linking Wilmslow with Alderley Park.

Cheshire East Council wants a new link between the railway station, the town centre, Wilmslow High School, the Royal London campus and Alderley Park.

And it says that construction could begin as early as this autumn.

Cllr Craig Browne, CEC’s deputy leader, said: “As a council we recognise that traffic congestion and parking provision are significant issues in Wilmslow. One of the ways in which we are seeking to address both is by managing demand for car journeys.

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“Where possible, we want to encourage residents and businesses to choose alternative modes of travel and this scheme is one of the ways in which we can make it safer for them to do that.”

The issue was discussed at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, where the plans were welcomed by Wilmslow councillors.

However, Cllr Browne called on residents in his Alderley Edge ward to speak up for the village during consultation, as his ward has been left out of the plans – while Cllr Don Stockton, Conservative CEC member for Lacey Green, wanted to see the route head northwards into his ward and towards Handforth.

But Cllr Suzie Akers Smith, CEC’s walking and cycling champion, told cabinet that while she hoped Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Handforth ‘all will link eventually’ it would cost a lot of money.

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She said: “We have to do a bit at a time – to do it all will need £30 million, if not more.”

The council has set a budget of £2.8m and has £1.6m in grant funding confirmed from Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership for this scheme and a similar one in Crewe.

Developer contributions and funding from the council will be required to meet the balance.

Both schemes form part of the council’s policy to promote active travel, reducing car dependency and the borough's carbon footprint.

In 2017, CEC set a goal to double the number of people cycling on the borough's roads at least once a week by 2027.

Discussions are taking place with some landowners and the council is hopeful of acquiring all the land required without the need to compulsorily purchase.

A consultation which runs until July 24 can be found at