The Lib Dems have for some years been working on improving the Kingsway junction – built back in 1959, far too small by modern standards and one of the busiest junctions in Greater Manchester.
The left-turn lane from Gatley made a difference. The new slip road off the motorway, and the timing change at the lights that will follow, should make a big difference when it goes in later this year.
Now the Lib Dems are proposing changing the lanes northbound, which could cut up to seven minutes off the journeys of people travelling into Manchester along Kingsway.
Think about approaching the Kingsway junction from Cheadle Royal – heading into Manchester. There are three lanes. The inside lane is for Gatley, the South Park Road Estate, M60 Westbound and M60 Eastbound. The other two lanes are for Manchester.
The result, as we all know, is that we get much longer queues in the inside lane, shorter ones in the middle lane and the shortest queues in the outside lane. Often the inside lane will still be passing through the lights when the other two are empty. We also have people who go through in the middle and outside lanes and then cut across to the inside lane to get the motorway – a maneuver that’s understandable, but both dangerous and slowing down the traffic even more.
This proposal will see the lanes re-ordered. The inside lane will be for Gatley, the South Park Road Estate and the M60 Westbound. The middle lane will be for the M60 Eastbound and for Manchester, with the outside lane being the only one exclusively for Manchester.
That should mean the traffic being far more evenly distributed between the lanes, leading to an estimated 9% more vehicles getting through at each change of the lights in peak times. There’ll also be less reason for people to weave across lanes after going through the lights.
The initial analysis is that this will reduce queues on the A34 and on the Cheadle Royal roundabout. Morning journeys could be speeded up by as much as 4 minutes, evening trips by 7 minutes. (We think these are almost certainly optimistic estimates, but even if it’s half that it would make a massive difference, given the thousands of cars that pass through the junction every day).
The proposals come to Cheadle Area Committee next Tuesday – we’ll keep you informed.