by prestwichfocus on 23 December, 2015
After complaints from residents, Bury Council have very kindly extended the consultation period on their major Bury New Road proposals by a whole week to 30th December 2015…….. This is only for online responses as Prestwich Library is closed for written responses.
The proposals from the Council are to make Bury New Road single lane traffic from Fairfax Road down to Aldi. (i.e. 2 lanes not 4 lanes). More details here.
Option A is for single line traffic, together with bus lay-bys, extra parking bays, a small amount of wider pavement, and cycle lanes between the parking bays and traffic.
Option B is similar, but with a north bound bus lane for most of the route (replacing the cycle lane).
Please do have your say. It is important that the Council listens to the people of Prestwich, through we do feel the method of consultation is flawed, as residents are only asked what issues they are proposing (i.e. they do not ask our views on what they should have been proposing).
It is your views that should matter. Thank you to the many people who have been in touch on this issue, we will be making a direct response as a local Lib Dem Team in Prestwich based on those responses.
For us there are three tests the scheme needs to address:
– Traffic Flow – Bury New Road is appalling for traffic at present. Queues regularly start at the Scholes Lane/Hilton Lane junction right up to the motorway. We agree that we should be helping and encouraging people to use more ‘green’ transport options (walking, cycling, public transport), but people will still need to use cars. Not only is the A56 a major trunk route to Manchester, but it is also an crucial artery for people in Prestwich.
We want Prestwich to continue to be a successful and prosperous place for people to live. A continuous traffic jam will do nothing but damage Prestwich, its economy and its environment.
The proposals, as they stand do not particularly address traffic flow. Option A (as we understand it) makes it worse in the evening rush hour. Option B worse in general.
What we have not been told about is the impact of the traffic on other roads. People who live on Nursery/Guest/Poppythorn/Langley areas, on Heywood Road and Rectory Lane, and on the whole set of roads that lead off the Sandgate Road are all the victims of ‘rat runs’ to avoid the A56 now, what will happen if things get worse?
The Fairfax Road / Chester Street junction is also a worry for us. At the moment there can be horrific traffic jams on Fairfax Road, as it is the only way people can get to and from the A56 from half of Prestwich. The proposals are to make single lane traffic start at Fairfax Road, which we cannot see will make this anything but worse. The Council also wishes to close off or make one way Warwick Street and Clifton Road, making Chester Street the only real way in and out for the whole Clifton Road and Gardner Road areas – again very poorly thought out in our view.
– Parking – People need and want to park in our village centre to use the local shops and local facilities. The proposals seek to address this by providing almost continuous parking bays (on one side or the other) right the way up the main road. We disagree. Parking for local shops is important, and we need some street parking for very short visits, but mostly parking should and could be provided without using up precious space on the A56 itself. We have a lot of capacity at Fairfax Road and the Longfield, particularly if a large element of this could be made available for short stay parking only.
– Safety for all – We want to see a main road that is safe for every who uses it – vehicles, bicyclers and pedestrians. It is really welcome that cycle lanes are proposed, but the Council has got them very wrong. A cycle lane squeezed in between parking bays and bus lay-bys and the main carriageway is not a very safe cycle lane. Any experienced cyclist would tend to avoid this for fear of car doors opening or people pulling out. Would anyone be happy with their children cycling up a cycle lane like this up the A56? We need a proper cycling provision, which makes it safe for all cyclists, experienced and inexperienced.
You can read more about the cycling aspects of the scheme on this post from a local cyclist.
The proposals also make provision for a small amount of wider pavements, but only for a small fraction of the length of the road (the rest where it could be done is taken up by more parking bays). Pedestrians do need a safe and positive experience walking up the main road, but there proposals do not do it.
Please do let us know what you think!