Words are important – particularly when trying to win hearts and minds. Many people regularly tell surveys they want healthier, safer movement through our streets, but sometimes encouraging those steps in reality requires the right choice of words that both demonstrate the universal benefits that …
At the end of 2020 we published a survey asking people to tell us how they felt the plan was going to transform walking and cycling in our Greater Manchester region. More than 150 people replied. We’ve set out the headlines below (for the full …
At our last General Meeting of 2020, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner Chris Boardman said that more than 30 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs – also known as Active Neighbourhoods or Filtered Neighbourhoods) would be implemented across Greater Manchester during 2021. Here we have a look at the progress with some of those that are moving forward into trial or pre-trial consultation periods.
Launched on 4 January, this Active Neighbourhood has been in the headlines lately, with the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport Cllr Angeliki Stogia clearly stating MCC’s commitment to the trial.
The social media responses have shown residents are already experiencing benefits and there are examples of the community coming together to reinstate the modal filters where they have been vandalised.
Now the initial dust has settled on Levenshulme, people have had time to reflect on the new measures.
Read their views and enjoy what people are realising. LTNs transform communities. pic.twitter.com/DFnjhfvruD
— Harry Gray (@HarryHamishGray) January 10, 2021
Importantly, there is also evidence of benefits for people who were disabled by the previous environment, as has been highlighted by friends of Walk Ride, Streets for People:
A local parent has sent this to us:
“The monumental occasion when my visually impaired 11 year old crossed a road on the way to school – without holding my hand! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. FILTER 🧚 HEROS.”
Keep up the good work everyone. pic.twitter.com/lQTVqgebV1
— Streets for People – Levenshulme and Burnage (@s4plb) January 6, 2021
This ride-through video by @JenontheMove shows the locations of filters:
Longford Park (Trafford)
Trafford Council used money from their Active Travel Fund coffers to deal with rat runners through the Longford Park estate, and residents have embraced the opportunity to improve their living environment by mapping the positive effects that the filters are having on the neighbourhood.
Community created documents in support of the Longford Low traffic Neighbourhood.
Feels like the community is doing the councils job for them.
Where’s the support for your own initiative Trafford? pic.twitter.com/NX2btRQppa
— Ewan Chamings (@echamings) December 9, 2020
The North West Ambulance Service has confirmed that their “crews have not reported any issues with the traffic calming measures in the vicinity of Cromwell Road.” The Council has also identified a potential improvement to the placement of filters, which has been put to the residents as part of further consultation.
We understand a decision is due imminently…
Word on the street…@TraffordCouncil have made their decision on whether to:
2. Change planter locations
3. Keep current locations.
The Longford Park LTN trial.
Decision letter to be sent to residents.
Ward Cllrs keeping their counsel.
— WalkRideStretford (@WalkRideM32) January 15, 2021
Sam Cycles has described the scheme in further detail.
Salford Central already benefits from several historic modal filters, including bollards located to prevent rat running through residential areas, and the recent planters installed with Active Travel Fund money have only served to enhance the area.
Locals have even added a creative touch to the land made safer near the planters by painting hopscotch and other games on the streets.
Great to talk to Sanny about cycling in Salford! https://t.co/TnHwBNYnmb
— Walk Ride Salford Central (@WRSalford) December 7, 2020
Heaton Park (Bury) and Astley Bridge (Bolton)
Each of the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester will be allocated a LTN as part of the Bee Network plans. This week, two more were announced – Bolton’s and Bury’s.
Bury’s is proposed to be implemented on the estate due west of Heaton Park. Initial consultation is now ongoing and a first ‘online workshop’ event is due to take place on 21 January, open for all the attend and have your say – sign up here.
How very exciting to see an active neighbourhood coming to the Heaton Park area. Really looking forward to getting involved in helping design the scheme and reimagining our streets with people at the heart of them! pic.twitter.com/XHKTtQvpdU
— WalkRide Prestwich & Whitefield (@walkridepw) January 8, 2021
Bolton’s will be on the Oldhams estate in Astley Bridge and more details are available on the project’s Commonplace website.
The Heatons and Romiley (Stockport)
Initial consultations for these two community-led projects took place in the second half of 2020, and responses are viewable here and here. Cheadle will benefit from another LTN, with details to be confirmed.
There are a number of other LTNs under preparation, whether they’re to be announced or in consultation, so watch this space and sign up to our newsletter here for more updates.
About ‘Our Streets Chorlton’ We are entering the delivery phase of a one-year community-led, National Lottery funded scheme set up by the Chorlton Climate Action Partnership (CCAP) to help create positive change to help reduce the need and desire to use a car, making the neighbourhood …
Just before Christmas, Walk Ride GM member Cat Swanson launched In Tandem, an active travel themed brand for clothing and other merch with an ethical business model. Selling t-shirts, posters and more, In Tandem is a brand for people who are passionate about creating safe and …
To round off 2020, we hosted our second webinar-style General Meeting to provide everyone with a summary of progress with all things Walk Ride and invite guests from the active travel world whose campaigning and shared pursuit of healthier places has caught our eye.
Mary Creagh (Chief Executive at Living Streets)
Mary joined Living Streets in September 2020 and delivered a presentation on the charity’s strategies and activities, including school streets, behaviour change and the inclusive design agenda, as well as discussing the mythologies around low traffic neighbourhoods and the popularity of pop-up schemes that enable safer walking and cycling. On the subject of getting kids and parents walking more, she highlighted the benefits of investment – “for every £1 invested in a walking scheme we run, we deliver £5 in benefits, in terms of child activity, congestion reduction […]” – and added the profound yet all too familiar takeaway that, “more cars = fewer friends“, based on research from both California and Bristol that found “the more cars there are, the less likely people are to know their neighbours”.
Mary also answered questions on the politics around active travel, and addressed concerns regarding the effect of LTNs on boundary roads by noting that behaviours change towards active travel modes for short trips when driving is inconvenienced.
Atchara Khonglim (Tameside Women’s Community Cycling Group) and Ellen Holmes (Cycling UK)
As an organiser at Tameside Women’s Community Cycling Group, Atchara has helped to establish a friendly group of women of all ages and experience that helps to empower women through cycling. She spoke to us about her motivations for, and experiences of, setting up the group.
Atchara was assisted by Ellen Holmes, the Greater Manchester Cycling Development Officer for Cycling UK, who would like to help many other communities across the region onto bicycles of all shapes and sizes – contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Jon Burke (Hackney Council)
A vocal advocate of active travel – notably the low traffic neighbourhoods (which are “not a new concept”) that have been implemented in his borough of London – Jon spoke to us about the unabated plague of private car use experienced over the past few decades, eliminating unnecessary local car journeys, and the need to counter the status quo with demand-side policies. He explains that this has, without any public consultation, led to “Silicon Valley billionaires, through the creation of satellite navigation technology and the commodification of the knowledge of our residential streets, [turning] all of our neighbourhoods in London and in Hackney into giant bypasses“.
He acknowledges the “natural aversion to rapid social change” of some members of the public, together with the reluctance of many of his elected peers to show support due to some vitriolic responses by individuals (and fear of the ballot box), while stressing the need to make these changes to influence behaviour for the betterment of our communities.
In response to concerns about the displacement of traffic onto main roads, Jon notes that “residential roads do not displace traffic onto the main road network; main roads displace traffic onto the residential road network…” and sets out the two key options available for addressing challenges such as unabated car use, road safety and air pollution: 1) open up all elements of every neighbourhood and allow that extensive displacement that we’ve experienced (which has failed, due to the law of induced demand, and just “kicks the can down the road”), or 2) demand-side measures (of which LTNs are part, alongside targeted policies for the main road network, such as road user pricing).
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner joined us again to deliver an update on the Bee Network infrastructure, and provide clarity on the consultation process for schemes being brought forward (“consultation’s great […] but we need to understand that it’s not a referendum“).
Chris’s roundup included Active Travel Fund (ATF) Tranche 1 schemes (including the Northern Quarter which will be made permanent after feedback from businesses showed they were really happy with it); ATF Tranche 2 schemes (for which Greater Manchester received £19m and which will be announced in the coming days by individual councils); 2021 as “the year of delivery” with 55 miles of schemes due; Chorlton Area 3 consultation; Oldham town centre bridge upgrades on site; approval of the Beswick crossing business case; consultation due for Rochdale Castleton scheme; Gillbent Road (Stockport) signalised parallel crossing nearing completion; construction ongoing for Bramhall Park to A6; construction due this month for a multi-user path on the A555 and Offerton-Stockport route; Thomas Street and Ducie Street vehicle restriction to be made permanent; assurance that the bus route permitted along Deansgate will only be temporary; consultation imminent for a segregated route from Wigan Pier to the town centre; progress on the Tameside A635 temporary lane; approval of Swinton Greenway in Salford plus various road reallocation projects; various CYCLOPS junction updates with Bolton’s nearing completion and work to start on 6 (SIX!) along Trafford Road in Salford in the new year.
He also reiterated the role of the Bee Network team to ensure high quality levels for these schemes, which are submitted to them by local highways authorities, before referencing the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme (“we don’t fund anything that won’t work, so I have high hopes for that one”) among the several other Active Neighbourhoods at consultation or beyond. Indeed, there should be 30 Active Neighbourhoods up and running next year.
On behalf of the Bee Network teams, Chris also issued a ‘call to arms’ to follow the example set by Walk Ride Bolton’s Grahame Cooper, whose work on identifying existing filtering across the borough (below) was also highlighted. They’re looking for case studies and testimonials from people who live in existing low traffic neighbourhoods – contact Kirsty via email@example.com.
We (@shanwilkinson2 , @mikellioth and I) are finding hundreds of existing modal filters across Bolton Borough, including many retrofitted ones like these. Nobody seems to be campaigning to have them removed. Most are not cycling friendly, unfortunately. pic.twitter.com/091dI1byKP
— Bicycle-Riding Motorist (@MrHappyCyclist) December 8, 2020
Finally, bike hire scheme tenders are currently being reviewed, the side road zebras research is back underway after being delayed by the pandemic restrictions, and all of this type of network information will be hosted on a new Bee Network website from the end of January.
Finally, if you have a couple of hours spare to watch the webinar in full, here’s the whole meeting – including Walk Ride GM’s Claire Stocks providing an update on our activities as a group:
Thanks again to all who spoke, attended, or were otherwise involved. We’ll see you in March 2021 at the next one.
The deadline for responses to the consultation on pavement parking in England is fast approaching. (11.59pm, Sunday 22 November 2020). COMPLETE THE CONSULTATION HERE Please do send in your comments to support for a ban on vehicles parking on footways, as we won’t get anther …
Manchester City Centre Transport consultation response: Walk Ride urges bolder, faster changes with clear rollout plan
Manchester City Council is to be congratulated for its draft City Centre Transport Strategy – which is open for comment until Wed 4 Nov and you feedback here. Walk Ride GM is broadly very supportive of the principles and proposals – but we urge a …
For our October General Meeting, we were joined by Morag Rose, a Manchester based walking artist-activist-academic, who in 2006 founded psychogeographical collective The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement). Her research, writing and campaigning focuses on public space, access, equality and walking as a creative, political and community building act.
You can view the full presentation with Q&A via our YouTube channel, here:
During the Covid-19 pandemic, they haven’t been able to meet in person, so have been experimenting with ways to walk together online using technology. You can join in wherever you are, inside and out.
You can read more about The LRM here: thelrm.org
It’s been three years since walking and cycling Commissioner Chris Boardman’s vision and plan to transform walking & cycling in Greater Manchester was agreed by the GM Combined Authority* – so we thought it would be a good time to take a temperature check via …