The team working on a new configuration for Kingsway alongside Stretford Mall put their ideas on show at the weekend. The headlines are more trees, a reduced carriageway to one lane and new crossings.
It’s a pretty brave decision to reduce the traffic capacity, but Edge Lane and Urmston Lane are single-carriageways and so there’s a consistency to the traffic flow. Nevertheless, there was quite a lot of scepticism on display at the presentation event. I just hope their modelling is right.
My view is that it’s worth pursuing. For most of the day, the two-carriageway Kingsway acts as a race track and is totally inappropriate for a town centre.
However, making it a single-carriageway carries risks. There needs to be enough room for buses to stop without blocking traffic. The bus lay-bys on these designs don’t look big enough, especially if we’re hoping to get more people on buses.
I’m also concerned that the entrance to Kingsway from Barton Road is widened to allow for two lanes, then quickly narrows to one. To me, that’s a bottleneck for no good reason. It should be one lane throughout the distance except at the exit to allow for right turns.
It looks like the crossings are without pedestrian controls. I’d like to be reassured that these are totally accessible to all users including vision-impaired users and others.
I hope they’ve ticked all the boxes. The new design looks good but it only needs a slight miscalculation for it to be calamitous. Those bus stops need to be bigger.