On Monday 2nd October the consultation begins on Davyhulme’s Active Neighbourhood.
The proposals limit north-south traffic cutting through roads like Wallingford and Guildford Roads. It focuses east-west traffic on Lostock Road, Winchester Road and Canterbury Road.
Railway Road will no longer be a through road.
Full list of closures – these will often effectively create new cul-de-sacs or crescent arrangements:
- Sandgate Drive – Point closure
- Salisbury Road – Point closure
- Exeter Road – Point closure
- Rochester Road/Westminster Road Junction – Point closure
- Lichfield Road – south of Lichfield Road/ Westminster Road Junction – Point closure
- Hartford Road/Westminster Road Junction – Diagonal closure
- Tiverton Road – south of Tiverton Road/ Westminster Road Junction – Point closure
- Guildford Road/Westminster Road Junction – Diagonal closure
- Winchester Rd/Westbourne Rd junction – Point closure
- Furness Rd/Newstead Rd Junction – Point closure
- Newstead Road/Sherborne Road Junction – Point closure
- On Abingdon Road northwest of Newstead Rd/Abingdon Rd Junction – Point closure
- Wallingford Road at Y-Junction – Point closure
- on the eastern arm of Railway Road at Railway Rd/Westbourne Park Junction Point closure
- Granville Road/Langley Close Junction – Point closure with cycle-about
I don’t pretend this is where I would prioritise my active travel interventions. My view has always been to focus first on enabling people to cross those roads that sever neighbourhoods through their sheer weight of traffic. People who can’t get across the main road won’t pick up a bike anyway, so enabling people to get across is essential. That would mean a lot of new crossings.
That said, a strategic decision was taken to make Urmston an active neighbourhood and these plans attempt to address some of the concerns raised by residents where rat-running is an issue and they do include a few new crossings.
So this is for a trial of at least six months. It’s created a lot of comments on FaceBook, mostly adverse. I talked to a few residents while I was riding through the area today. No one I spoke to was totally against it, although a few wondered if it was a good use of money. Some only vaguely knew about it. Others were disappointed that the busiest roads, Canterbury and Winchester weren’t going to benefit. The Railway Road filter was going to put one person I spoke to on the wrong side for Urmston. I think that might be a wider problem, but it’s outside my ward.
I am struggling to test the scheme against objectives as they’ve not really been published. The scheme doesn’t really benefit cycling. In most instances, it doesn’t benefit walking. There are some small incidental forced gains in walking to Davyhulme school – particularly with regard to those approaching the school from Winchester Road. On the whole, these are already walkable streets requiring tree work in places and dropped kerbs to be fully accessible, but more walkable than most.
Without a doubt, it will quieten some streets that currently have an amount of through-traffic. I’m thinking of Wallingford Road and parallel roads etc. It’s a strange scheme to benefit from Active Travel funding though, as I want to see more than a handful of quieter streets coming out of it and that troubles me as an advocate of active travel investment.
I’m keen to see the consultation reach the largest audience. I’m surprised Transport for Greater Manchester has approved it as meeting their criteria. We are where we are and if it gets the support I will be content to see it proceed.