by Iain Roberts on 7 August, 2013
We recently consulted residents around the one-way section of the South Park Road Estate on a proposal to remove the one-way sections.
Residents told us clearly that they wanted to keep the one-way sections on Mardale Drive and South Park Road, so that will happen.
There was a more mixed response to making the Kingsway Service Road fully two-way so the Council is now conducting a formal consultation on that proposal, and we’ve extended the consultation beyond those living along the one-way section to residents on Mardale Drive and the northern end of South Park Road too. You can also have your say by emailing us or commenting here, wherever you live.
I think the proposals are positive. They will slow down traffic coming onto the estate, improve our strategic cycle network and may be a small disincentive to traffic using the estate for an illegal u-turn.
We now want to know what residents think.
Slowing down traffic
As with nearly all residential roads, there isn’t (and shoudn’t be) room for vehicles to drive at any speed along the Kingsway Service Road without having to think about what other road traffic is doing. That’s one reason why traffic tends to travel faster on one-way roads. As a general rule, we want to slow traffic down on our residential roads, and this is one way of doing it that’s got a good record of success.
The speed table on the other side of the underpass will also make a big difference, slowing down traffic approaching the estate. When we consulted residents about speed humps in 2011, most people wanted humps somewhere, but not many wanted a hump on their road or outside their house so this seems like a good location.
Improving the cycle network
In the longer term we need to get more people cycling. Not everyone, and not for every journey but if we could get even 10% of journeys made by bike it would make a big difference. We get healthier people (which saves money for the NHS), lower road maintenance costs and less pollution, plus the more people cycle, the safer it gets for cyclists and the fewer cars jamming up the roads.
To achieve that, we need to build a cycle network that’s safer than the main roads and goes where people want to go, and reasonably directly too. It’s not an overnight project – it takes years to build up cycling levels, but it can be done and it saves money if you can do it.
This proposal is part of a safe cycle route allowing people from Gatley to cycle into Manchester without having to cross the Kingsway junction or cycle down Kingsway on the road.
My big concern is that, as things currently stand, we’ll get more and more cars on the roads, meaning more jams, more rat-running, more pollution and more repair costs. We have three choices: resign ourselves to jams, build lots more roads or get a significant number of people out of cars. The first doesn’t seem like a great idea, the second is almost certainly unaffordable and the third has been shown to work elsewhere, so seems to me to be the best best.