A teenager who campaigned to have a crossing point near a school in Altrincham is celebrating today after work started on the scheme.
Eleanor Horner was just 13 years old when she stood up in front of a Trafford Council meeting to ask for her journey to school in Altrincham to be made safer.
Now, Trafford Council and Transport for Great Manchester (TfGM) have delivered on her request. Work has started on the new crossing on the A56 Dunham Road at the junction of Gorsey Lane to make it safer for pupils to cross to go to Altrincham Grammar School for Girls – and Eleanor could not be happier.
Eleanor, now aged 17, who still attends the school as a sixth former, said: “I’m really pleased that work on the crossing is now underway. It will make walking and cycling safer and more accessible.
“I would encourage everyone who can to take advantage of this to make the commute a healthier and less polluting one.”
The new segregated cycling and walking crossing across Dunham Road at the junction with Gorsey Lane will provide a facility for people to cross a busy main road in safety. In 2021, the Council proposed that the scheme be included in the Mayor’s Challenge Fund Bee Network Crossings Project being led by TfGM.
And in October 2022, Trafford Council’s Executive gave the go head for the ‘walk, wheel and cycle’ scheme following consultations with the public. The improvements include:
- The footway will be extended on both corners of St Margaret’s Road and at its junction with Dunham Road with a pedestrian island to improve the crossing facility across St Margaret’s Road.
- Gorsey Lane will be made one-way in a southerly direction from the church access to its junction with Dunham Road. This means there will be no access to Gorsey Lane from Dunham Road. Access will be via Highgate Road or Booth Road. Restrictions will be put in place to ensure one-way section remains clear of parked vehicles.
- Devisdale Road will be changed and access to Dunham Road will be via St Margaret’s Road.
- The parking on the north side of the access road between St Margaret’s Road and Devisdale Road will be removed and the number of bays reduced on the south side.
- A bus stop/coach parking bay will be introduced on St Margaret’s Road (west side) south of its junction with Devisdale Road, for school bus drop-offs and pick-ups.
Cllr Aidan Williams, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “I am delighted for Eleanor that work has begun on this scheme to improve safety and active travel in Altrincham. Eleanor bravely stood up in front of full Council to call for this work to take place, and that takes some doing for at the age of 13. We listened and have taken action.
“This walk, wheel and cycle scheme will improve safety for those crossing the road at this point and that is of primary importance to everyone at the Council. I look forward to the completion of the crossing and, once again, would like to congratulate Eleanor for all her hard work on this.”
Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner, said: "Crossings like this are a vital part of building the Bee Network and Eleanor's campaign is a timely reminder of the important voice children have in helping to improve the areas in which they live. It's great to see that all her hard work has paid off and I hope I can congratulate her in person. Schemes like this are vital in ensuring the safety of pupils travelling to and from their schools and will benefit the local community year round.
“I often talk in schools about the importance of pupils engaging with their local council to share ways in which their journeys could be improved and it's great to see Trafford Council have acted on the information Eleanor shared with them."
Funding for the new crossing and improvements has been drawn down from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF), which was established to enhance the quality of cycling, walking and wheeling infrastructure across Greater Manchester. The new infrastructure is part of the Bee Network, the vision for a fully-integrated, London-style transport network connecting all modes of travel, including cycling and walking.
Posted on Wednesday 13th September 2023