by Iain Roberts on 10 July, 2013
At Cheadle Area Committee on Tuesday, councillors voted to adopt the options for improving Cheadle village centre that had been supported by residents in the recent consultation.
The plans were drawn up following a consultation with over 3,000 businesses and households around the centre, along with surveys of traffic and pedestrian flows.
We’re really pleased to see this, and we’d like to thank everyone who got involved.
As with most similar places, Cheadle has a problem bringing together people’s desire to drive through the village quickly and the desire for Cheadle to be a pleasant place to spend time in, whether it’s in the shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants or anywhere else. Places that have lots of cars driving through the centre all the time are rarely as pleasant as quieter locations!
We looked at how the two could be brought together and felt that we needed a strategy to reduce the traffic coming through the village, but without inconveniencing people. If someone needs to get into Cheadle because they live or work there, it should be easier, not more difficult.
One way is to reduce through-traffic. I’d like to be encouraging traffic going through Cheadle to Gatley, into Manchester or south towards Wilmslow to be using the M60 as a by-pass, and when the A6 to Manchester Relief Road is built (hopefully in 2017) that will also take traffic away from the centre.
Another important approach is to get more people cycling – something that’s starting to work well in many places across the country. There are a lot of people who don’t currently cycle but tell us they would do if there were safe routes with parking at the end. Cheadle village isn’t too great for cycling at the moment – around 1% of journeys are by bike, but 25% of the accidents have involved cyclists. If we can get just 5-10% of local journeys made by bike, it would make a big difference to the number of cars clogging up the village centre, improve parking and reduce jams.
We’re restricted by what’s there now – there’s no way to make all the roads wider to put in wide cycle paths. But there’s a lot we can do – and we’ve got substantial Government funding to do it. We’ll be putting in more safe cycle routes, in particular to help people travelling into Parrs Wood and on into Manchester (we’re also working on improving the routes into Stockport, but that’s from a different Government fund that we’re waiting to hear about).
We also want to encourage walking (hence improving the pavements and other paths – including from Barnes Hospital) and public transport.
1. 20mph speed limit in the village centre (it won’t make much difference in rush hour, but should help at other times). 64% agreed with this proposal, 25% disagreed.
2. Toucan crossing for cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross Gatley Road near the junction with Warren Avenue (allowing cyclists to come from Wilmslow Road, along Warren Avenue, across Gatley Road and then up The Crescent and over to Mill Lane and Manchester Road). 60% agreed with this, 22% disagreed. This also involves moving the bus stop nearer to the lights, onto the wider section of the road.
3. Improving the footways with conservation paving (as was laid on Church Road, Gatley). 87% agreed.
4. Introducing loading only bays on High Street and Ashfield Road. 72% agreed, 11% disagreed. These laoding bays would be constructed on the High Street next to Church Street, also on the High Street between Massie Street and the Telephone Exchange and on Ashfield Road alongside the bank (but away from the junction).
5. Introducing waiting restrictions (yellow lines) on Wood Street/Chandley Street (by the car park next to St Marys Church). 59% agreed, 8% disagreed.
6. Keeping the current loading ban restrictions on Ashfield Road and Eden Place. 74% agreed, 6% disagreed.
7. New puffin crossing on the High Street between Eden Place and Ashfield Road – a hot-spot for accidents where pedestrians are half way between the other crossings. 68% agreed, 22% disagreed.
8. Controlled pedestrian facilities at the Manchester Road/High Street junction (currently there’s no controlled crossing from Haw Bank House to the centre of Manchester Road). A scheme has been drawn up which doesn’t impact Cheadle Green or traffic flow, though the trade-off is it requires four different pedestrian crossings to get right across. 71% agreed, 12% disagreed. One consequence of this is the need to remove the bus stop in front of the George and Dragon. The stop has never been ideally located on the junction, and there’s another one just down the road, but we’ll still be looking into this in more detail.
9. New pedestrian refuge on Stockport Road, by the junction with Oak Road. 76% agreed, 9% disagreed.
10. Reducing the speed limit on Manchester Road between the railway bridge and the motorway from 40mph down to 30mph. This gives a smoother slow-down to the new 20mph village centre limit and is safer for cyclists and pedestrians. 56% agreed, 25% disagreed.
The Council also asked if people were in favour of the proposals overall. 46% agreed that they were in favour, with just 8% against.
There was one proposal which didn’t get support, though it was fairly evenly split. We felt it was right not to proceed with it. The proposal was for speed cushions on the high street to further slow down traffic. 45% were in favour, 47% against.
You can see the full paper, which includes more details, maps, and the outcome of both consultations here, starting on page 195: