A WAR of words has emerged in Holmes Chapel after a campaigning group said they are ‘disappointed’ by ‘the lack of road safety action’ in the village.

The Holmes Chapel Partnership, an independent voluntary community organisation, has put up new banners and street signage as part of its ‘Safe Walking Routes to School’ campaign in an effort to force both Cheshire East Council and Dane Valley ward councillors to make more progress on road safety.

However, ward member Les Gilbert has said the group ‘would bring the village to a halt if they had their way’.

“The 20’s Plenty vote in December raised hopes among Holmes Chapel residents that our roads would finally become safer for pedestrians and yet a quarter of 2021 has passed and nothing has changed,” said Hazel Sutcliffe, Chair of Holmes Chapel Partnership.

She added: “Residents in the village are increasingly venting their frustrations at us that Holmes Chapel roads are dangerous for pedestrians and they are fed up with not being listened to. We have more than 2,000 children being educated here and every one of those children deserves a safe walking route to and from school for the sake of their health and safety.

“We have the support of our residents and the Parish Council that changes need to be made yet once again it seems inertia has set in at Cheshire East Council. There have been a number of near misses involving pedestrians in Holmes Chapel already this year and we sincerely hope it isn’t going to take the death of a resident for Cheshire East Council to finally start taking action.”

The posters and banners in question have been designed by schoolchildren of the village, with seven entries winning out in a competition earlier this year.

Responding on behalf of both Dane Valley ward members, Cllr Les Gilbert told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We are as concerned as anybody about highway safety and personal safety of our residents. We raise highway safety issues with the council’s highways department but it is not within our power as ward members.

“We are always disappointed with the fact that Holmes Chapel is always ignored.

“We must recognise that this partnership does not represent all the village and this personal attack is typical. Before deciding how to vote on the 20’s Plenty motion, we undertook a survey with residents — only 182 responded in favour out of a population of roughly 6,500. While it is a valuable issue, it is not vastly supported.

“The partnership would bring the village to a halt if they had their way. They are focused on issues that are totally one sided for walkers and cyclists.

“There are major routes through the village — and we as ward colleagues are looking at a more strategic approach to take traffic away from it.”