Made to Move – Cycling and Walking Across GM

GREATER Manchester’s first Cycling and Walking Commissioner has called for £1.5 billion to help realise his vision of transforming the city region into a world class region for cycling and walking.

Last year Mayor of Greater Manchester appointed Chris Boardman to say how GM can deliver a step change in the numbers of people walking and cycling in the city region.

Chris Boardman

The result, a 15-point plan, includes proposals to publish a detailed 2018 Greater Manchester-wide walking and cycling infrastructure plan, as set out in the Greater Manchester Strategy, and establish a ring-fenced, 10-year, £1.5 billion infrastructure fund for walking and cycling. This would bring Greater Manchester’s spend on cycling and walking in line with other major conurbations, including London and Oslo.

Recently the combined authority asked all of the councillors across Greater Manchester to support the proposals and so far, with just one day to go, over 40 percent have pledged their support – they only need to click on one link to register.

“Lib Dem councillors are leading the way with over half pledging support and I am encouraging others to as well before the deadline”, said Cllr Jon Twigge. “Conservative councillors are nowhere near as keen with less than a quarter of their councillors supporting the campaign to cycle and walk more”.

The campaign was launched before Christmas: https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/article/242/chris_boardman_calls_for_15bn_over_a_decade_to_make_greater_manchester_a_world_class_region_for_cycling_and_walking

St Mary’s Way Work Nearing Completion

The great news is that St Mary’s Way work is nearing completion.  With most of the major work at the site almost done we should now see less disruption in the final few weeks with only minor traffic control until it is finished completely.  The exception will be overnight closures for final resurfacing which should hopefully not create too much disruption.

Earlier Work at St Mary’s Way

The remaining disruptive times will be:

  • Overnight resurfacing beginning 16th April for approximately two weeks (8pm until 5:30am)
  • Temporary lights at the Junction with Hall Street expected for one week while TfGM finalise the new traffic lights

But if only that were the only works in town!   Work at Junction 1 of the M60 will continue as does the work on the A6MARR and nearby associated repair work on the A555.

We would love to bring you an opening date for the A6MARR to the airport but at the moment our best guess is sometime over the summer.

It’s Official: Paul is Lib Dem Candidate for Hazel Grove

Paul Ankers will be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hazel Grove, after nomination papers are accepted by town hall officials.

“We’ve had a great reception on the doorstep so far,” said Paul. “Residents say they like having Lib Dem councillors who work all year round and get things done. They rarely hear from the other parties except at election time.”

The election in Hazel Grove looks set to be another fight between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. Labour never do well here and are usually a long way behind the other two.

“The snow and ice this winter mean we are seeing more potholes than ever. Cold winters damage our roads and that means existing potholes have got bigger and new ones have turned up,” Paul said.

The Lib Dem team are calling on the Council to properly resurface some of the worst roads in the next year, as part of the Lib Dem £100m road and pavement repair programme. The other bad roads should be done over the next few years in that nine-year programme.

But we need potholes to be repaired now, and there are some nasty ones.

If you spot a pothole, please take a minute to report it to the Council

Melford Road Unauthorised Occupations

We have seen a series of unauthorised occupations in Melford Road by various different groups of travellers over the years but hopefully there will be an end to the problem soon with the council to make extensive changes to the site – more below.

The last year has seen probably more than ever and we have an occupation by a number of people at the moment.

The End of Melford Road Has Wide Open Streets – Google Street View

Every visit is unpleasant for local businesses and residents, especially those closest in Kyle and Tannock Roads, with the physical mess that they leave behind, the feeling of intimidation that their presence can cause for some and the worry of crime in the area that some feel may come with their presence.

Stockport council have a great team of people that deal with these incursions, along with the police. As soon as it is reported to them they go to visit to assess the level of the problem and then follow a strict legal process to remove them. It is difficult to assess the total cost to Stockport when you add up all of the staff, police, court time and other costs but it really adds up for every visit.

The Removal Process

Often travellers will move on within two weeks but sometimes it can take longer. The first delay can be welfare needs of any travellers present, for example children that are not well. Stockport council has to follow legal procedures in this respect to ensure that these immediate welfare needs are met. As frustrating as it can be seeing travellers stay any longer officers have to respect these needs.

Once it is clear that immediate welfare needs are ok then the formal legal process can be followed from the Criminal and Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Travellers are issued with a Section 77 notice from this act that directs them to leave within 24 hours.

Unfortunately some groups ignore these notices and the council then has to apply to the Magistrates’ Court for a Section 78 Order of this act. This takes a few days longer but it can then be enforced.

While everyone in the council works hard to keep the process running as quickly as possible, they must follow national laws.

Future Prevention

As part of the A6MARR scheme Hazel Grove received a sum of money for complementary measures because we will see a small decrease in traffic though the town when the road opens. This money can be spent on transport related improvments. As the travellors park on the public highway we can use some of this money on measures to prevent the illegal occupation problem.

We wrote about the complementary measures in an earlier post here:

The changes to be made at Melford road include improvements to the pavements and installation of barriers which will restrict unauthorised access while allowing local businesses to continue to operate.

Hazel Grove A6 One of Most Congested in the Country

In a new report the A6 through Hazel Grove is again shown to be one of the most congested stretches of road in the country.  This time, only seven roads across the whole of the country, other than London, are worse.

The average total number of hours people waste stuck in the traffic through Hazel Grove is 32 hours a year !

The total cost to the UK for all the queueing in 2017 was £37.7 billion.

The A6 to M60 Road would connect with the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road

Cllr Jon Twigge said, “The proposed A6 to M60 road would completely bypass most of the congested stretch of the A6 transforming the centre of Hazel Grove and allowing us to regenerate the town much more easily.”

More details from the report for the UK are at: http://inrix.com/press-releases/scorecard-2017-uk/

Fiveways Junction Regularly Blocked

With the growing traffic along Macclesfield Road the junction with Dean Lane and Mill Lane has been getting steadily busier.

At busy times there are often queues at the junction and more people are failing to keep it clear.

Recently talking to the residents of Mill Lane a number of people all commented on how difficult it can be at times with the junction blocked.   To try to alleviate the problem we are calling for a yellow box junction to keep it clear for people travelling across Macclesfield Road.

Box junctions are designed to keep junctions clear.  The highway code says that you should only enter a box junction if your exit road is clear or if you are waiting to turn right.

A6 MARR and Carillion Update

With the news of Carillion going into liquidation on the news today there will clearly be large impacts across the country.

The good news for Hazel Grove is that the A6 MARR is run by a joint venture between Carillion and Morgan Sindall, another construction company.  In the short term this means that the project is far less likely to be seriously impacted than if the project was being directly run by Carillion.

We have heard from senior council officers that they expect Morgan Sindall will simply inherit the work from the joint venture and the project should continue with relatively minimal disruption.  The council are in discussions to ensure that work carries on as efficiently as possible.

We will update everyone of any further news or changes to this.

 

A6 to Bredbury Road – The Process Continues

After one of the longest debates in recent Stockport Council history the process possibly leading to building the new road from the A6 just south of Hazel Grove across to Bredbury and the M60 still continues.

 

The Road is the Second Phase of a Road from the Airport to Bredbury

The debate was only to put a recommendation to the the Council Cabinet later in December (19th) and voted strongly to recommend continuing the process.  In a much closer run vote Cabinet decided to rubber stamp that recommendation and the Council will now bid for money to do a full business case study.

It has to be stressed, this is absolutely not a decision to build the road, it is still a very long way from that but the process has not been stopped yet.

In the full council meeting many councillors with a variety of views on the road were saying that they want more information and that is why they want the process to continue (including some councillors who want the information to finally, once and for all, to reject the road after decades of discussion). This vote was only a recommendation to the cabinet not a decision.

The Labour Cabinet then met on the 19th december and decided by a vote of 5-3 to continue the process.

The next stage is for the council to bid for government money to do a full business case for the road – approximate half a million pounds. If the business case was started it would include a full environmental study as well as a full business case study and a full public consultation.  Only after the full business case was complete, if the bid was successful, would council then vote on whether to bid for the actual project money to build it – a much larger amount of money of hundreds of millions of pounds.

There are still a number of times that the new road might be rejected in the coming process.

Action on Speeding

It is hugely disappointing to know that Police resources are so stretched that speeding motorists get so little attention that some people seem to think that they can get away with incredible speeds and dangerous driving on our roads.

Recent announcements by the government that Police budgets are to be frozen this year (with a token gesture of extra money that will actually come out of our pockets if the mayor decides to raise the money) mean there is no likely prospect of things improving in the near future.

But we have not given up !

Today I have written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester asking that Greater Manchester Police should accept DashCam videos, of irresponsible driving, through the internet.

Dashboard Cameras out there allow you to automatically record what happens in front of your car (and some behind as well) for use in evidence if you have an accident or see dangerous driving.  Greater Manchester police should make it as easy as possible for members of the public to report such incidents.

Slimline Connected DashCams

New devices are getting better all the time and I am looking to buy one particular camera that supports very easy uploading of video to the internet to come out – it is due soon !   I look forward to the day when i can easily report dangerous driving to the police and know that something will be done about it!

With the support of the police to make it easy and enough people reporting dangerous driving the small minority that make our roads so dangerous may start to think twice before they risk other people’s lives !

Jon

Bridge News and Free Shuttle Bus For Now

Finally, after months without a service, the council has provided a free shuttle bus service for residents on Buxton Road, Alma Road, Cherry Tree Road and Yew Tree Avenue !  The bus display a sign that read – “Hazel Grove Shuttle Service”.

Months of delays had left these residents without a bus service while the buses that used to travel on the A6 were diverted down the new A6 route until the bus bridge is complete.

As you can see, there is good news with the road to the new bridge now taking shape:

View from the South taken last week

Workmen at the site tell me the road surface is due to be tarmaced this Thursday (7th Dec) and then they will do the pavements.  The official date of December to finally open will hopefully be right this time with the normal bus service resuming soon afterwards.

Jon