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£31 million cycling boost sees big benefits for Cheadle, Gatley and Stockport

by Iain Roberts on 12 August, 2013

The Government have announced that the Greater Manchester Velocity bid – which seeks to get 10% of GM journeys on bike by 2025, has been successful and, as a result, an additional £31 million is going to be invested in improving cycling facilities across GM.

We’ve worked closely with Greater Manchester and this money will add to over a million pounds we’ve already secured to improve cycling around Cheadle and Gatley.

I believe this strategy is absolutely critical if we’re to beat traffic problems in our area.  We’ve only a limited amount of roadspace for car and lorries to go on.  We can do nothing, in which case the problem just gets worse and worse.  We can build new and bigger roads, which would work but is very expensive (the Manchester Airport to A6 Relief Road is one of very few in the area that makes financial sense to build), or we can get people out of their cars and onto bikes, foot and public transport.  We don’t need to get everyone out – if just one in eight people made the change it would sort out our roads for years to come.

Readers may remember that we secured over a million pounds to boost cycling around the Cheadle area earlier this year:

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.

We’re also consulting on an improved cycle route through the South Park Road Estate and massively improving cycling facilities through Bruntwood Park (where there’s also going to be a new BMX Track) and around Cheadle Royal into Heald Green.

This new money is for the whole of Greater Manchester, but the elements for our area include:

  • Segregated off-carriageway route along Manchester Road into Parrs Wood.
  • Improved trans-pennine trail route from Cheadle into Stockport, giving quick, convenient segregated cycle way to Stockport.
  • Link in with other major improvements around East Didsbury and Parrs Wood into Manchester
  • Making Gatley a cycle-and-ride station with improvements for cyclists coming to the station and improved facilities to leave bikes.

This investment in cycling is by far the greatest we’ve ever seen in the area and I firmly believe is our best opportunity to sort out traffic problems over the coming years.









13 Responses

  1. Phil Johnson says:

    This is so annoying. Lousy road surfaces throughout Stockport,but millions being spent on those who pay no Road Tax.

  2. Iain Roberts says:

    Most cyclists also drive (though there’s no such thing as road tax), but unless we can get more people cycling for more journeys, it’s going to be more and more difficult to find the money to maintain and improve our roads.

  3. Jerry Clegg says:

    There should be a public meeting about the South Park Road Estate cycle-route proposals. The way they are being bulldozed through is a scandal. There is a great deal of anger on the estate about the lack of proper consultation.
    The proposals as they stand at the moment are ludicrous.

  4. Iain Roberts says:

    Obviously I disagree with you about the proposals, Jerry, but I’m a little surprised that the idea of consulting with local residents, taking account of their views and making a decision in the usual democratic way could be seen as “bulldozed”.

    Residents around the northern end of the estate have had three separate letters about this asking their views – two from me and one from the Council. I’ve also put two pieces on this website, and that’s before it’s even come to Area Committee!

  5. Jerry Clegg says:

    One hundred and thirtyeight properties on South Park Road Estate were not sent the detailed proposals by the council, which were delivered to just 38 properties at the north end of the estate. What’s democratic about that?

    The proposals will affect everyone on the estate as they all have to use the Kingsway Underpass to access Cheadle or Gatley.

  6. bruce thwaite says:

    In reference to the proposed cycle route northwards, the issue of the second underpass still has to be resolved – not an easy one as cyclists would have to somehow cross the slip road.

    Will any new system be incorporated into the new junction for the proposed new development on the old Barnes hospital site?

  7. Les Leckie says:

    Phil Johnson needs to realise that what’s done to get cyclists off roads will benefit all road users. He needs to learn that what he calls Road tax is actually Vehicle Excise Duty, in a way, its a pollution tax as those who pollute most pay most. Cyclists don’t pollute. Motorists stopped paying Road tax in 1937. Roads are maintained from general taxes.

  8. Iain Roberts says:

    Jerry – the legal standard is to consult with those directly on the route – i.e. people living on the road that’s going to be changed. We’ve expanded that well beyond that legal minimum.

    Bruce – that does need to be sorted, but there are plans we’re working on which will include a solution. Barnes hospital will be taken into account too.

  9. Frederick Kenny says:

    Yes its technically correct to say there is no such thing as Road Tax but there is very heavy taxation of motoring, in addition to Vehicle Excise Duty there is 70% tax on fuel (including tax on tax – ie VAT on Excise duty). The motorist is paying all this out and getting very little spent on the roads infrastructure which is desperate need of improvement. Cyclists are using the infrastructure with no contribution to general taxation – this needs to change as does id plates for cycles so that road traffic offences can be prosecuted (eg riding straight thru lights on red , breaking speed limits and riding on pavements.

    Also to say we can’t afford road upgrades is not true – its a political decision – for example we can cut some of the 12 billion a year we are spending on overseas aid and use that to improve our roads.

    Finally to claim 1/8 of journeys (12.5%)can be made by bike a six fold increase is not realistic, London has achieved around 10% with a much younger demographic.

    A think we need a more respectful and pro motoring tone to all this rather than everything being massively pro bike.

  10. Duncan says:

    Having worked over in Holland for a small period it always makes me laugh how contentious a relatively small scheme to promote a fairly decent alternative to car travel becomes. The UK is a long way behind but we seem to get bogged down in a cyclist vs motorists debate on every occasion. I don’t know anyone who cycles who doesn’t own a car and pays car tax plus fills up using the highly taxed fuel we have in the uk. By the way, why not some safer cycle provision on Styal road? I’ve tried to cycle up to Quarry Bank mill with children on a few occasions and speeding drivers on the Gatley section means we just choose to drive now.

  11. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Duncan,

    Although Styal Road is unlikely to be improved in the near future (just too narrow), I’d suggest from where you are that you could cycle to Foxland Road, up Silverdale Road and St Ann’s Road North picking up cycle route 558, along Brown Lane and then using the Airport Orbital Cycle Path to get to Styal Mill. It’s a much safer, quieter route and not a lot further.

  12. Trevor McLean says:

    These new cycle tracks should be clearly sign posted so that cyclests actually use them. Cyclists for the most part ignore the ones at Cheadle Royle and Styal Road

  13. Paul - Gatley Resident says:

    Excellent news thanks. Many more people who are able to should cycle it keeps them fit and is less of a drag on our health service, gets the traffic off our crowded roads and reduces vehicle pollution.

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