Trafford Council is working with partner Amey at One Trafford Partnership to create short and long-term options to improve the protected cycle way along the A56, from Dane Road to Cornbrook Road in Trafford, and into Manchester, while retaining two lanes for motor vehicles.
The new proposal will seek to accommodate all users of the A56 from across Trafford and follows on from the council’s bold decision earlier this year, where one lane of the carriageway space used by vehicles was allocated to cyclists.
Temporary measures were put in place using £5m of emergency government funding made available to Greater Manchester Local Authorities, through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund. The pop-up cycle lanes enabled people to keep their distance for safe, essential journeys and exercise during the Coronavirus lockdown.
The walking and cycling infrastructure has provided a safe option of travel for many members of the public as an alternative to using public transport due to Covid-19. Statistics obtained from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have shown a considerable amount of growth in people opting to cycle rather than travel by car during the lockdown. The average daily number of people using the pop-up cycle lanes has increased from 102 in June 2020, to 336 in August 2020. This is a 421 per cent increase of cycle journeys in comparison to figures from August 2018.
Immense support has been received by the public of the pop-up cycle lanes and many people have expressed that the provision of the new lanes has provided them with an opportunity to take up cycling again and venture out with families, feeling safe to use the A56.
However, with the lockdown easing the cycle lanes are being reviewed due to the build-up of congestion. The level of comments about removing the temporary measures on the A56 have recently increased due to the rise in traffic volumes, children going back to school and people going back to work.
Cllr Steve Adshead, Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change at Trafford Council said:
“We have been monitoring the success of the pop-up cycle lanes and have listened to what the community would like now that the lockdown has eased. Moving forward we will be looking closely at how the adjusted measures will ease congestion along the route while protecting the most vulnerable road users. This will help us move towards a place that we want future generations to be able to enjoy, while protecting the integrity of all road users.”
One Trafford Partnership have presented new proposals for the A56 to Trafford Council for their decision, with a view to the new plans being funded from the Emergency Active Travel Fund and Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
The short, medium and long-term adjustments will continue to provide a level of protection for cycling, while easing congestion for the A56 and the surrounding network. The council are keen on providing options for all members of the public which will protect the integrity of transport, as well as provide a solution to keep the route from Sale to Manchester in place. Funding permitted, measures will include keeping segregated cycleways wherever possible and keeping the traffic flowing by opening lanes to motor vehicles. This will help deliver Trafford Council’s longer-term ambitions for a cleaner and greener transport network that will support and encourage more active travel and reduced car journeys.
The phased approach of the short and long-term measures that will come into effect from Tuesday 15 September 2020 are:
- Temporary cones to be removed in the short term from Dane Road to the Chester Road Recycling Centre (Stretford Tip), with a realignment of the road layout to provide protection through this section (to be undertaken as soon as possible, subject to funding).
- Upgrade to the existing temporary cones along the A56 to provide better cycling infrastructure from Chester Road Recycling Centre (Stretford Tip) to Talbot Road.
- Temporary cones to be removed through Gorse Hill along the A56, from Talbot Road to White City Circle, with a view of longer-term plans in the future.
- Upgrade to the existing temporary cones along the A56 to provide better cycling infrastructure from White City Circle to Cornbrook Road.
Further permanent measures are being considered along the carriageway due to the success of the pop-up cycle lanes. For more information visit the Safe Streets Saves Lives webpage or follow the conversation at @OneTrafford
Posted on Monday 14th September 2020