An independent inquiry necessary
Dear Sir, — The Chronicle recently reported that Sandbach Town Council would write to the leader of Cheshire East Council seeking local input to any new transport plan for Sandbach following Cheshire East Council’s decision to archive the existing Sandbach VISSIM transport study.
Local input to any new transport plan would be essential and should include a detailed independent examination of the inputs and outcomes, bearing in mind the disastrous failed Sandbach VISSIM study mentioned above.
However, readers, and particularly Sandbach residents, should be aware that although a new transport study has been suggested, it is unlikely to materialise in the near future.
Cheshire East has already said that it would not carry out any new study until the smart motorway had settled down or the Middlewich By-pass had been constructed.
The imminent introduction of the new enlarged roundabout at the entrance to Capricorn and the associated traffic from the Capricorn development will also impact on Sandbach traffic.
After three years’ campaigning, Cheshire East, in a response to concerns about the Sandbach VISSIM study raised by Sandbach Town Council, admitted that there were errors in the report and sought legal opinion on the validity of the VISSIM model.
Legal opinion determined that the model was sound and that although errors had been found, the errors were not considered material to the outcome of the study.
Two important questions remain unanswered.
If the model was sound, why did the model not recognise any congestion at all on the A534 at junction 17 and why did Cheshire East shelve and archive a transport study costing over £100,000 of tax payer’s money?
The only reasonable conclusion that comes to mind is that this is a cover-up of what is the greatest scandal in Cheshire East since the air quality debacle, which uncovered deliberate and systematic manipulation of the air quality monitoring results across the borough.
Without a full disclosure of the facts, one can only speculate as to why a major authority would want to use a falsified transport report to convince the local plan inspector examining sites for additional housing in Sandbach.
An independent inquiry is necessary to establish the truth in this long running saga. — Yours faithfully,
Vissim is a microscopic traffic flow simulation software package developed in Germany. The name is derived from “Verkehr In Städten — SIMulationsmodell” — German for “traffic in cities - simulation model”.