Campaigners set for protest march over 'unacceptable' two-year Soot Hill closure

Lee Siddall plans to 'send a powerful message' that more needs to be done <i>(Image: Lee Siddall)</i>
Lee Siddall plans to 'send a powerful message' that more needs to be done (Image: Lee Siddall)

FRUSTRATED campaigners are taking part in a protest march over the 'unacceptable' level of disruption caused by the closure of Soot Hill.

The Anderton road has been closed in both directions since December 2021 after a retaining wall was damaged in a landslide, causing serious disruption for nearby residents, and people travelling between Warrington and Northwich.

According to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) current timeline for the work, repairs will not be complete until late 2023, two years after the landslide occurred.

Now Barnton resident Sam Dodgshun and Northwich town councillor Lee Siddall, are calling on residents to help them ‘send a powerful message’ to the council by joining them in a march along Soot Hill on Saturday, February 4.

Sam said: “We're all furious with how long it’s taking to repair this vital stretch of road.

“It's having a massive impact on all of us living between Northwich and Warrington, and people in Barnton pull their hair out as school journeys, work commutes, and ambulances are forced down residential backstreets such as Lydyett Lane.

“The alternative signposted route is even longer and more complicated, especially for those not familiar with the area visiting Marbury Park or Anderton Boat Lift, which will make life hard for so many local businesses as we come into the spring/summer season.”

Northwich Guardian: The Soot Hill Road closure
Northwich Guardian: The Soot Hill Road closure

The Soot Hill Road closure (Image: Harry Tomlinson)

CWAC have a dedicated page on their website to keep the public informed about progress with the road closure.

The latest update states: “Our response to the landslip is being progressed as promptly as possible.

"Due to complex, difficult, and costly nature of the repairs needed, it is anticipated the road will remain closed for at least a further 12 months.

"Further updates will be detailed on the webpages as well as our monthly Transport and Highways newsletter."

Cllr Siddall said: "The residents of Northwich are fed up with the lack of action from CWAC on multiple fronts, and can’t wait until Autumn 2023, nearly two years after the landslide, to pull their fingers out.

"Residents understand the repairs are complex, but taking two years to fix the problem is ridiculous, and this level of disruption is unacceptable.

Northwich Guardian: The landslip at Soot Hill
Northwich Guardian: The landslip at Soot Hill

The landslip at Soot Hill (Image: Harry Tomlinson)

"We welcome everyone who wants to send a powerful message to CWAC and the government that Northwich deserves better."

Those wishing to join the march are asked to assemble at the Anderton Boat Lift, from 10am on Saturday, February 4.