Keith, Graham and Iain

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Daily crashes show need to improve transport

by Iain Roberts on 20 January, 2016

It seems that barely a day goes by without one or more crashes on key roads in the area bringing traffic to a halt.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a BMW lost control speeding through the Gatley lights and caused a seven-car pile up, closing Kingsway for several hours on Monday night.

On Tuesday it was a three-car crash at Portwood Roundabout causing long queues on the M60.

And we all know these aren’t isolated events – at the moment it’s more surprising when there isn’t a rush-hour crash somewhere on the network around Greater Manchester.

Accidents sadly happen. The Police have made two arrests following the Kingsway incident which looks like a case of reckless driving that so nearly had fatal consequences, and our first thoughts are of course with those injured in these accidents.

But we also need to look at a transport system that all too often gives no alternatives. We all know that when traffic is queueing back through Gatley and out the other side, it’s normally down to a problem on the M60 or M56 pushing cars onto our roads in an attempt to avoid the jams. Can’t blame people for that – most of us will do the same elsewhere.

If we have more tram and train routes people have alternatives. Right now if I want to go into Manchester city centre I can drive, catch a bus, take the train or drive to Parrs Wood and pick up a tram. If there’s a problem on the roads, I’ll avoid car and bus. If the trains are cancelled I can get the tram. We need those options for a lot more of our journeys around Greater Manchester.

That’s just one of the reasons Keith and the Lib Dem team are campaigning for an orbital tram/train route through Cheadle and Gatley with new stops and for a study into the A34 route to see how we can deal with not only all the traffic using it now but the extra traffic we know will be coming in the next few years,

   19 Comments

19 Responses

  1. Soile Kambergke says:

    Does this mean priority action for a train station in Cheadle? We are the only village centre in the whole of south Greater MCR without one. 2040 agenda no good and not working. #poorshowSMBC

    • Iain Roberts says:

      It means we continue to campaign for a train station at Cheadle and make the case for it. With Stockport Council we’ve produced the Rail Strategy setting out our priorities. What we need now is government support and funding.

  2. richytrichmeanspeeddriverofaredcarandpersonthatknowsaboutsinkholes says:

    I have previously reported the traffic light controlled junction at healdgreen, styal-finney lane to be a worthy contender for safety improvements. You can watch people jumping red lights at any rush hour. This was a contributing factor to the accident I was involved in over Christmas, when I was hit from behind. Queuing traffic moved forward on green but had to stop because traffic from the opposite direction had jumped the red but couldn’t exit the junction, blocking it.

    I believe driving test has improved, but not sure about the standard of driving. I see examples of inconsiderate driving all the time. Not sure what the solution is, But I am sure it isn’t a tram through gatley! Trams are a chuffing nuisance, ugly infrastructure and hazards to cyclists to name a few…Just put more buses on.

    I would also like to see more pressure applied to business and schools to stagger start dates, including holidays. Have you done anything about that?

    And finally, will somebody from UU/GMC (or whoever is responsible) take a drive down hollydege road a sort out the multiple sinking inspection chambers that will no doubt be responsible for the next accident/sink hole in the area.

    Happy January!

  3. Bruce says:

    There are just too many cars around nowadays – that is the main reason – but I not sure having a tram/train route would make any difference, especially with the price of petrol falling.
    The accident on Kingsway, incidentally, was down to reckless driving and nothing else.

  4. Garry says:

    We just need better public services. Especially if you are traveling away from Stockport or Manchester. I live in Cheadle and work at Hadforth Dean. To be at work for 7am I would have to be at the bus stop for 5.45am as the 312 doesn’t run that early and the only option is 1hr 15 minutes tha includes changing buses on route. Even after all that I would have to walk from the pointing dog, over the A34 and through the industrial estate. And it is a similar story for late shift workers getting home.

  5. David Johnson says:

    It isn’t the number of cars it is the number of people using them. More houses at Woodford Airport site is a glaring example of more congestion to come! But the effect spreads even further – each person needs resources such as power, water, food, leisure outlets etc. and our urban areas are now over-stretched. Planning has become a joke (except to large company managers and owners).

    • Iain Roberts says:

      I agree, David – our planning system isn’t currently fit for purpose. There are serious attempts to come up with improvements at the local government level and I hope ways can be found that central government can buy into. Until then, we have no option but to work within the law as it stands and do the best we can.

  6. Wayne says:

    You want to take the right turn of death at Cheadle junction A34 every day….ahhh but your one of those fortunate Gatley residents with your nice filter lights so you aren’t affected. Role on he day our local MP actually does something for the Cheadle residents here!!

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Hi Wayne – yes, I often have to turn right at the Kingsway junction (from both Cheadle and Gatley). Like you, I await the day our local MP does something for Cheadle residents, but that’s not an accusation you can lay at the Lib Dem councillors. We’ve worked hard to improve the junction in recent years. We know there are no easy answers – the junction is massively over-capacity and anything that speeds things up for one group of drivers makes longer queues for someone else. We can’t do anything without the agreement of TfGM and, in some cases, Highways England. But we have made real improvements over the last few years and will continue to work to improve the junction.

  7. Sheelagh Ward says:

    More motorists not following the Highway Code, speeding and even texting while driving! My neighbour got knocked down outside Tesco’s before Christmas. When will we have some flashing 20mph signs either end of Church Rd and when will the 20mph speed limit on Church Rd be enforced?

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Hi Sheelagh – speed enforcement is down to the Police, but we’ve asked for some flashing speed signs. We had a couple up on Styal Road and know Park and Church have issues too.

  8. Roy says:

    Good afternoon Iain
    I find it very interesting in your article that you don’t list cycling into Manchester as your preferred option and yet you and other members of the council have Comondered large sections of our road network depriving motorists whose taxes originally paid for construction of said roads from using them,Stockport is not alone in this Manchester are even worse just look at Didsbury for example,anyway now we know that you don’t chose to cycle can we stop causing congestion with these daft schemes and as I have said before Stockport council should question and pressure the Highways Agency about every incident that causes excess traffic through the borough to explain why these incidents take so long to clear up. And while your speaking to them get them to sort out the temporary traffic barriers over the M60 on Manchester Road, and could you tell us all who is paying for the hire of these barriers (been in place for over 1 year)

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Hi Roy – I don’t mention cycling in every article, but it is of course an important part of any solution – as we’ve said many, many times on this site. The roads were built from the funds of general taxation – paid for by everyone. At the time they were built, far fewer people owned cars so I’d guess they were more paid for by non-drivers than by drivers.

      The challenge we have is that journeys are going to increase so unless we do something to move some of those journeys out of cars and onto trams, trains, buses, bikes and on foot the road network will grind to a halt and we’ll be be sitting in our cars fuming at never-ending traffic jams.

      We would like to sort out the barriers over the M60 and I understand the Highways Agency have finally agreed a solution that will have them gone soon.

    • Halifax says:

      Roy, we all pay taxes, it is not a privilege reserved for motorist. All taxes, whether it’s VAT, NI, Income Tax, or VED goes into one big pot for the Government to waste

      I am not opposed to cycle paths (as a cyclist I welcome them) however some of the ones this Council have created are criminally insane and a waste of money.

      The one on Manchester Road being the worst culprit.

  9. Arthur Lampkin says:

    Problem is it is one person in one car am sure people go to the same places but do not share. I know when I worked in Stockport one other person actually worked in my office but wouldn’t offer a lift. Shows how selfish some people can be and not care about the amount of traffic on the road.

  10. Mary Worrall says:

    Indeed many of the previous outlined comments all have contributory factors. Manchester and Liverpool are among the worst places in the UK to live in terms of congestion (BBC news article 18/01/15) and little seems to be actually be delivered locally, Cheadle/Gatley ward in particular, to make radical changes to our appalling public transportation and improve it for the people who live and work here. Lots of talk, but little action. As Roy says, over 12 months and still temporary cones on the Cheadle/Parrswood cycle path – if the local authority can’t sort out a little issue like this, than there’s no confidence in delivering a strategic framework for things like more local train stations, innovative car parking schemes and so on.

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Hi Mary – had it been down to the local authority, those cones would have gone months ago. The council has to work within the law and in this case it’s Highways England that’s caused the delay and the council has no legal power to force them to sort it out.

  11. Roy says:

    Hi Iain I appreciate your response but you have still not told us what the cost of renting these cones is and more importantly who is paying this cost . Please inform what the cost is

  12. Jb says:

    We are still waiting for the re-instatement of the railway station at Cheadle so that we can board the trains that daily run through from Manchester, Stockport, Altrincham and Chester. The pressing need for this and others on the route is a no-brainer. Just how difficult can it be to provide platforms with access, shelter, lighting and drainage, etc? If the will was there, I believe this could be accomplished within about six months. What are the Council doing to expedite this proposal with Network Rail?

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