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Million pound boost to cycling in Cheadle area

by Iain Roberts on 4 April, 2013

The Lib Dems have secured a million pound boost to cycle facilities in the Cheadle area, which will greatly improve the links from Gatley, Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme and Heald Green towards Manchester. The improvements will be put in over the next few months.

Cycles at Gatley Primary School

Cycles at Gatley Primary School

 

The largest chunk of the money has come from the Government – over half a million pounds. Other funds are planned to come from local developments and Council schemes.

Cheadle is one of 78 locations across the country that has secured this Government funding – and the Cheadle Package is the sixth largest scheme of the 78, with £566,000 of Government funding.

The Cheadle Package proposals include:

  • New off-carriageway route along Kingsway from the Gatley lights to the Manchester border.
  • New on-carriageway route along Manchester Road from Cheadle towards Parrs Wood
  • New safe cycling route (mostly on-road but small section of off road) from Broadway along High Grove Road, Milton Crescent, Wensley Road and Marchbank Drive to join up with Kingsway (and so give a safe route for cyclists wanting to avoid the Kingsway/Gatley Road junction).
  • New safe cycling route from Wilmslow Road, Cheadle along Warren Avenue, The Crescent, Hall Street, Brook Road and Mill Lane to join up with Manchester Road.
  • New section connecting Grange Avenue, Cheadle Hulme to existing signed route along Queen’s Road.

This is not just a welcome boost for cycling in Cheadle, but an important element of reducing the amount of local traffic clogging up the roads.  With most of our roads constrained, encouraging more people to make some local journeys by bike or on foot instead of in their cars is critical to reducing the queues and traffic jams.  Providing safe routes that connect up properly is probably the single most important part of that.

This package isn’t all we’re doing in the area.  We’ve already seen some improvements around the signed route 556 from the Airport to Stockport and the new Toucan crossing where the motorway sliproad meets Kingsway.  As I reported recently, we’re also proposing improved cycle routes across and near Bruntwood Park and we’re putting in more cycle parking, especially around local shops.

We want cycling to become a real option for everyone on short, local journeys – which means safe, well maintained routes and secure cycle parking.  That’s good for health, saves us all money and helps get cars off our roads too – making journeys quicker for those who do choose to stay on four wheels.

Other recently announced cycling boosts in our area include the £300,000 BMX track scheme for Bruntwood Park and the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, which will have a separated cycle path running along the whole 10km length.

   18 Comments

18 Responses

  1. Alan Gent says:

    Hi Iain what exactly is a safe cycling route? I’m a potential cyclist put off by the fear of death by careless driving!!

  2. Estelle Weiner says:

    It’s all very well making the routes which I agree with. BUT they need maintaining and who will pay for that? The cycle paths (red painted type) at the top of Schools Hill are as potholed as a lot of the roads around here. Also, why ever they don’t allow for the drainage grids beats me. Cyclists swerve out of the cycle lane, quite understandably, to avoid the drains.

  3. B. Horstmann says:

    And we seem to have let Sainsburys get away with not providing some stands by the car park, where there is plenty of room for them; the ones in the car park towards Ashfield Crescent aren’t close enought.

  4. A manekshaw says:

    I welcome this boost to local cycling in Cheadle, especially anything that helps to avoid the Gatley junction.
    I love cycling but am nervous about cycling on many busy roads. Alternative routes would be great.

  5. kath hallworth says:

    Hi Iain,

    First of all, Warren Avenue has a one-way system which I think includes cyclists of any type having to adhere to. Secondly, a safe cycling route I presume means cyclists can cycle safely either in designated lanes or with some ease down the roadway – I doubt that Warren Avenue, with its heavy overflow parking (both sides)from shoppers and office workers can provide either!

    As you are aware, the Residents of Warren Avenue have an application for a Residents Parking scheme approved but going through a feasability study and I know that you have commented to me that you are doubtful we will get the scheme in place – but can you confirm that the fact that you mention Warren in connection with safe cycle routes will in no way have an adverse affect upon that application?

    Kind regards,
    kath

  6. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Kath,

    I can confirm that this will have no effect on Warren Avenue’s application.

    It’s fairly common to have a setup where cycles can go both ways but cars only one way (it’s called cycle contraflow and has been heavily trialled in London in the last couple of years, and we have a few in Stockport too).

    The speed of traffic is more important for cycle safety than the number of cars parked along a road – so residential streets (which tend to be parked up) are safer for cyclists than busy main roads (which have far fewer parked cars).

  7. John Cockerlin says:

    Hi Iain,
    It should be interesting when a car comes out of the supposedly one-way end of Warren Avenue and encounters a cyclist coming in, or do you intend that cyclists should use the pavement (no change there, then!)?

    Better get some of the potholes, caused by cars having to drive down the centre of the road because of the parking problem, filled in-or they will be complaining about them.

  8. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi John,

    Normally a cycle contraflow at a junction like that is done with a separate cycle lane to keep it safe.

    We’ve reported all the potholes and I believe they’re on the list to be repaired.

  9. Margaret Cummins says:

    You mention a cycling route along Manchester Road. Can I first ask someone in authority to request Maxwells used cars to refrain from parking on the pavements so that pedestrians can pass safely maybe with a pushchair, without the need to squeeze past a parked car and practically have to step off the kerb. As you may know, there is no footpath on the opposite side at this point. I do have tp take this route to the hospital at least twice a month. Thank you. A reply would be nice.

  10. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Margaret,

    We’ll look into that. Blocking the pavement by parking on it is obstruction and the police can take action.

  11. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Alan – sorry, just realised I forgot to reply to your very good question.

    A lot of people feel unsafe cycling and the two things they mention most are busy roads and difficult junctions.

    Safe cycling routes aim to take cyclists away from both of those as far as possible, using quieter residential roads, off-road cycle paths and either routing to avoid big junctions or providing cycle-friendly ways to get across the junction.

  12. Peter Riocreux says:

    @Kath, @Ian,

    There is an example of one that I know of round the back of the RBS in Edgely (by theroundabout). That illustrates the problem with that sort of cycle route – enforcement. It is rare that the traders whose shops back onto that road have not parked cars/vans across the mandatory cycle route.

    The one-way on Warren avenue isonly at the Wilmslow road end – only for about 5m I think. It is certainly two way at the other end and there is no signage indicating one way until you get to the last 5m or so as far as I can recall. There is plenty of space to get a contraflow cycle path through that section, but whether anyone will be able to use it because of the parking is another matter.

    Should the council relax any planning rules about dropped kerbs there (if there are any) and/or make it cheaper to get the work done by SolutionsSK so that more people can park in front of their houses?

    Pete

  13. B. Horstmann says:

    From Warren Avenue and Milton Crescent we should we should be able to go either to Wensley Road or the Crescent, for flexibility. The restriction on Warren Avenue needs a cycle way through, as do the ends of Mornington Road & Brookfield Crescent off Broadway

  14. Chris Leuty says:

    I regularly cycle on the A34 towards Parrs Wood and while I welcome a safe route for those not brave enough to do it, I would hate to think that I was being forced to do so by the provision of such a route.

    There is a real problem on that stretch of road of drivers breaking the speed limit; for example, yesterday afternoon, I drove that way myself, reached 40mph and 6 drivers overtook me. I also often see drivers using the outside lane at high speed and then cut across the lanes to the M60 slip roads at the last second. Such dangerous behaviour should not be tolerated. Forcing cyclists off roads that they are legally entitled to use is not the solution.

  15. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Chris, I agree – we do not force cyclists off the road!

  16. Tim says:

    This is welcome news, although the phrase “on-carriageway” seems to appear a little too frequently for my liking.

    A good example of a well thought out cycle contra-flow lane is Grosvenor Street in Manchester. http://goo.gl/maps/d2r8s

    – good physical separation from the main carriageway (which also stops it getting parked on), clear priority at junctions, reasonable access and it links up a couple of useful routes (into town or onto the quiet off-road cycle access through the University buildings).

  17. […] may remember that we secured over a million pounds to boost cycling around the Cheadle area earlier this […]

  18. Mary Gittens says:

    Re: Points 9 and 10, anyone you frequently uses the Manchester Road footpath, near the car showroom in Chealde village centre, will of come across several cars frequently parked on the footpath. Many people use this footpath as a walk way towards Parrswood, staff of the Alex (and soon care home) as well as locals and users of the Ashley pub. It’s not just pushchairs that can not get through, but also wheelchairs users, young children as well as adults. I have noticced that the police and parking enforcement officers have attended from time to time, but clearly this hasn’t worked to stop this issue. When a child or elderly person has to walk onto a busy carriageway and is knocked over by a vehcile, will this then be the time when the council enforces action? What is needed is a set of street furniture – bollards – which are aready in place over the other side of the road on Manchester Road by the bridge to stop this once and for all. Iain, can this be looked into> Surely the cost could be absorbed inthe near future street works project?

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