Heaton Chapel Active Neighbourhood Nears Post-Trial Consultation Stage
The Heaton Chapel Active Neighbourhood is coming into the final weeks of its three-month trial period and the benefits of speed reduction, safer streets for walking and cycling, and greater accessibility have been experienced by many residents of the area.
Outdated and illegal barriers such as kissing gates have been removed from access points to local parks, including Houldsworth Park and Marbury Road Park, enabling disabled people to enjoy more of Stockport’s green spaces, including wheelchair users, parents pushing double buggies, and people using mobility aids.
The installation of a roundabout on the Marbury Road junction at the northern end of Carnforth Road has helped to calm traffic, and antisocial driving has been curtailed along the long, straight stretch of Carnforth Road towards Nelstrop Road by a modal filter at Broadstone Hall Road North (BHRN).
The new one-way system on Ash Grove has also been celebrated by residents for bringing about a massive reduction in traffic levels past Manchester Road Park, along with filters reducing the through traffic in the Bollington Road area.
Despite seeing regular use by local people, including young children, the table tennis table has been moved from the pocket park in the safe space created at BHRN due to reports of antisocial behaviour by a few users of the space. The table can now be used at Houldsworth Park, and the former pocket park location still benefits from the modal filter, which creates a safe area of the estate for children and adults alike to play, scoot and cycle through.
The scheme is due to be removed in early December, followed by a period of reversion to the previous status quo, before a consultation in early 2022 to gather feedback from users of the streets and analyse the traffic data collected by Stockport Council during the trial.
In the meantime, Walk Ride Heatons – the subgroup formed to represent walking and cycling progress across the four Heatons of Chapel, Mersey, Moor and Norris – has been busy supporting local parents with ideas to change their trips to the main primary school in the Active Neighbourhood area, Broadstone Hall Primary School. They prepared the following text for a local news outlet, Heatons Post, which is delivered to households across the North Stockport area:
Heatons Active Neighbourhood trial – get on your bike to school!
Walk Ride Heatons
Up to a quarter of all traffic in the morning rush hour is part of the school run, so it’s vital we try to make more journeys to and from school on foot or by bike. It’s also really good for kids, increasing their daily physical activity and arriving at school better able to learn and have fun.
The Heatons Active Neighbourhood trial is all about reducing the number of motor vehicles on our residential roads, making them better places to walk and cycle. Now is a great time for you and your kids to try out the roads on a bike and see for yourself what a difference the filters can make. And because this is a trial, you can pass on your feedback to the council to make it even better.
We’ve split up the school catchment area into different zones so you can plan your journey.
The Heatons Cycle Link means you can already cycle across the Meadows. Carry on over Black Brook, and up past the Scout hut to the filters at the top of Broadstone Hall Rd North. Cycle down to the junction, then cross on foot at the crossing. For Howard Ave and Norfolk Ave, walk to Langdale Rd to begin your ride.
For those houses west of Manchester Rd, first walk to and use the crossing at the George and Dragon junction. From there, Meadows Rd offers a cobbly (bumpy!) route to the Meadows. From there, follow the Zone 1 route to the school. Remember it may not be the most direct route, but it can be quicker to cycle the long way round than to walk.
The best way across Broadstone Rd is the crossing at top of Broadstone Hall Rd South, so choose whichever route takes you to there most directly. Appleton Rd makes a good route if you’re to the south, and Carnforth Rd is good if you’re to the north.
If you live on or near Briarfield Rd, you can go straight to the school past the filters. If you’re coming from east of the railway line, take care at the tunnel.
The path alongside the school takes you most directly to the school for most people in this zone. Make sure to walk the final stretch to school. If you live on Ash Grove, remember that it’s now one-way, so you’ll need to walk the final stretch on the way home.
The passageway to Lambs Fold gives you a nice walking link from this zone to Manchester Rd. Take care if you need to cross Denby Ln, as it gets more traffic than neighbouring roads. You can use the temporary lights on Manchester Rd, or take care and use the island crossings until you get to Zone 5.
Manchester Rd/Broadstone Rd/School Ln
Choose your nearest zone, walk to the start, then get pedalling!