Local Groups Update: Wins for Walk Ride Blackley, Active Travel Commissioner Visits Whalley Range School Street + more
Welcome to our latest round-up of selected activities and neighbourhood successes achieved by our local Walk Ride group volunteers.
Walk Ride Blackley
Walk into the Weekend
Friday 10 March was the very first ‘Walk into the Weekend’. Initiated by the Walk Ride Blackley team, the idea is to walk as a group from local schools through Heaton Park, meaning car traffic is removed from the nearby residential areas. The aim is to make it a regular walking, playing, and exploring activity on the calendar for as many parents and children as possible – every Friday there will be free parking at Heaton Park as an incentive, along with juice, biscuits, and other goodies for the kids.
Family Fun Day
Members of the team behind Walk Ride Blackley will be attending Boggart Hole Clough’s Family Fun Day on Saturday 18 March 2023. There will be cycle maintenance assistance, workshops to develop your maintenance skills, and opportunities for people of all ages to try out new bikes – from balance bikes for the young ones, all the way to adult sizes. WR Blackley will be there to meet local people and share the recent news and activities in the area at our very own stall, so come and say hello.
Pedestrian Crossing Times
Following our campaign to see greater pedestrian priority at crossings, TfGM is reprogramming the puffin crossing on Middleton Road outside Bowker Vale Primary school, reducing the maximum pedestrian waiting time from 104 seconds to 52 seconds. Alongside this, Walk Ride Blackley is working with TfGM to educate parents, children, and teachers on how the smart crossing outside the school works. The green man (only 5 seconds) is an invitation to cross – it’s not the only safe period to be on the road. Sensors also keep the motor vehicle lights red for up to an extra 30s if there are still people on the road – it is hoped that the information will reassure people who have been panicking about stumbling kids and dropped toys and water bottles while crossing.
The petition launched earlier this year to reduce the speed limit in Blackley village to 20mph is gaining support by the day – online and paper signatures are nearing the 300 mark.
It is hoped to repeat the success of last year’s petition for improved pedestrian conditions on Rochdale Road and Charlestown Road, which has recently seen some action. Thanks go to local councillor Hannah Priest for all the support in pushing these first stages through.
The team have also been undertaking regular litter picks at Pike Fold Forest, which has made a big difference to the walking environment. If you’d like to join one, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family litter pick at Pike Fold Forest in Blackley today
We filled 21 bags and pulled loads of larger rubbish items out of the forest, including half a dozen cream canisters@KeepBritainTidy @MCCHBlackley @beesafemcr pic.twitter.com/QlCdP39pbe
— WalkRideBlackley (@WlkRideBlackley) February 22, 2023
Walk Ride Whalley Range
Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner Dame Sarah Storey visited one of the TfGM-funded school street pilots at Manley Park Primary School. Walk Ride Whalley Range has worked closely with the school to support the pilot and the school street has been a great success so far.
Thanks Sarah. Your visit was big boost to our volunteers at @ride_walk who’ve been working on this & were encouraged by your continued push for permanent enforcement that would mean they could focus on other elements of active travel to school, than marshalling manual barriers https://t.co/1nl4hyKlgJ
— Walk Ride GM (@WalkRideGM) March 11, 2023
It was great to introduce @DameSarahStorey, Active Travel Commissioner for GM, to pupils, staff, parents & residents at Manley Park Primary today, to hear directly about their experience of trialing a #SchoolStreet. Very positive response & a long queue for autographs! #GMmoving pic.twitter.com/714oBE8DS1
— Eve Holt (@evefrancisholt) March 10, 2023
Walk Ride GM has also provided support to all seven of the schools taking place in the Manchester pilot, delivering training and guidance to council officers, councillors, schools, and volunteers to help them run smoothly. In addition, we are working with the University of Manchester to carry out a monitoring and evaluation project of residents’ perceptions and traffic impact across the seven schools. One of our campaign focuses is for councils across Greater Manchester to bring in cameras for moving traffic offences (as soon as they are legally able), so that we aren’t relying on the time consuming and resource intensive requirement for volunteers.