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South Park Road Estate proposals improve safety and cycling

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.


6 Responses

  1. Phil Johnson says:

    Make Lower Kingsway one-way Northbound.
    All traffic leaving the estate would have to do so via South Park Road and Coniston Road.
    It is much safer to turn left from Coniston than to “U” turn from Lower Kingsway.

  2. bruce thwaite says:

    As a cyclist, I am afraid your proposed cycle is not very attractive. The main problem you have are the two underpasses – the first underpass will presumably involve cycling uphill (this could deter people) and the second is the other underpass which definitely has a steep incline, sharp angles and gets flooded whenever it rains heavily.
    I for one would still travel on the A34.
    My suggestion is to reduce the speed limit from the lights up to the M60 to 30 mph.

  3. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Bruce,

    You’re quite right – the whole route is important. I don’t think we can avoid hills altogether, but we’re working on plans to avoid the second underpass and – as you can see from the plans – proposing to do a lot to improve the route from the South park Road Estate onto Kingsway.

    I think the problem with speed limits is that, whatever speed you put on Kingsway, you’ve still got a dual carriageway with 2-3 lanes on each side and multiple slip roads on and off, which just isn’t going to be something a less confident cyclist is ever going to be comfortable with.

  4. Frederick Kenny says:

    On the whole I think this is a positive proposal. My main concern is for pedestrians – it appears cyclists will go straight onto the pavement at one point. Given how fast some cyclist drive (over 30 mph sometimes) this could present significant dangers to pedestrians who are after all the most vulnerable group of all as far as accidents are concerned.

    My request is that the planning pays very careful attention to pedestrian safety and preferably keeps the two modes separate.

  5. Jerry Clegg says:

    The current proposals are of no benefit whatsoever to residents of South Park Road Estate, quite the opposite in fact. Local Authorities and Traffic Managers are obsessed with making things as difficult as possible for vehicular traffic. As for the cycle track, the proposed route with all it’s hazards and ups and downs is quite ludicrous and will be little used by cyclists.

    The speed-table crossover for cyclists by the underpass, on a limited-visibility sharp 270 degree left bend down from Kingsway, is asking for trouble.

    I agree with Bruce Thwaite about the need for a reduced speed limit on Kingsway between the A560 and the motorway junctions. Enforcing the existing limit there would be a good thing.

    Keep cycle tracks off South Park Road Estate.

  6. Bob Symms says:

    while I applaud the attempts to improve cycleways in and around the Gatley lights and the motorway access points going noth on kingsway, I don’t think the proposed change to making the Kingsway Service road 2 way is a practical solution.
    The key words are ‘ serice road’ this road was designed to serice the houses fronting kingsway and to form an access to the Southpark estate for vehicles coming south off Kingsway and exiting the M60, it is comparitavely narrow and residents and their visitors frequently park on the right hand side of the road.
    I do not see how a cycle way and a change to 2 way traffic can be safely accomodated along such a narrow road.
    There is also the issue of this road being used as a rat-run at rush hour periods, it is impossible to prevent this without a frequent police deterrent.
    As to the issue of making the service road one-way northwards, how are the southpark residents supposed to reach their homes if coming off the motorway or from Manchester on Kingsway, the only way would be to turn right at Gatley lights or do a u turn at the lights!
    If the Council are intent on improving the situation for cyclists,why can’t a two way cycle path be built into the embankment of the Service road, seperating them from traffic, but leaving the roadway one way

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