Consultation has opened on Manchester City Council’s proposed walking and cycling improvement route labelled North East Gateway. The proposed route seeks to address some existing issues: “Physical barriers to cycling and walking, like the River Irk, Ashton Canal, and railway viaducts Junctions which are not […]
This weekend is the last chance to respond to four consultations that have the potential to positively shape the high streets through Horwich, Little Lever, Westhoughton and Farnworth. The masterplanning consultants appointed by Bolton Council have created a design proposal for each of the four […]
Words by Harrie Larrington-Spencer.
“Our country desperately needs more homes. But how can we ensure that new housing is built around sustainable transport, not around car use?”
Transport for New Homes, a two-year funded research project on sustainable transport and the location of new developments, tries to answer the above question by investigating large housing estates, many of which are these days branded as ‘garden villages’, across England. They do this by using a transport checklist for new housing developments, which amongst other things measures and assesses local facilities easily accessible without a car and frequent public transport services in place from Day One of occupation.
Underpinning this research is the strong interest to highlight both the best practice and the bad practice in the sustainable mobility strategies adopted in domestic and international case studies. It was also refreshing to hear that their approach was not ‘anti-motorist’, as they strongly argued in their 2018 report that more sustainable mobility options will also ease congestion on both local and strategic roads – a welcome development that should be applauded by all motorists and non-motorists alike.
Also present at the event was Simon Warburton of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), who presented their 2040 Strategy, which underlines the importance of mobility as a service and network planning as its golden threads, as well as the importance of hyper-localised interventions at busy centres to promote active travel options.
Another very interesting presentation was given by Claire Linton, whose recent study at Urban Transport Group looked at the impact of transit-oriented development on growth in city regions. It was especially useful to see the recent evidence (and international examples) on how easily transport strategies can steer housing development towards more sustainable futures.
The discussion that followed the presentations with questions from the audience was equally stimulating. Both bad and good practice in accessible design was questioned, together with the need for more quantifiable evidence of car dependency in terms of mileage, frequency, and financial loss.
The event was held the day before Manchester City Council announced they are expanding Hyde Road to enable further car traffic, and it could be disheartening to see that the majority of new large housing developments in England did little – or in some cases the opposite – to contribute to sustainable mobility options for their would-be residents. However, the speakers also showed that some good practices – such as Poundbury in Dorset – and events like this can remind communities not to despair at the status quo, and provide a more positive vision for the future.
Urmston Bee Network’s consultation event to engage local people with the process towards its Active Neighbourhood area plan was met with a huge turnout on 23 January. Videos posted on Twitter showed people queuing through the door to be a party to the area’s vision […]
The Greater Manchester Bee Network team has today revealed its Walking and Cycling Investment Plan, entitled Change a Region to Change a Nation. The report sets out the region’s progress to date with building its proposal to provide safe active travel options across the whole […]
Manchester City Council has revealed its proposed designs to transform the Northern Quarter and prioritise people over motor vehicles.
Comments via social media have pointed out potential options to achieve an even better outcome, including the full pedestrianisation of Stevenson Square and greater safety measures for cycling:
The left side is being pedestrianised first to allow for public transport routes on the right, hopefully it will eventually become fully car and bus free!
— Northern Quarter MCR (@NQManchester) December 20, 2019
OK now we get radical.
I’m still working out the traffic flow, bus, and loading plan for the surrounding streets 🙂
Lever Street potentially too busy for this, even with buses only. pic.twitter.com/zCtFB1FwDE
— Cycle Sam (@MCRCycleSam) December 20, 2019
However, the plans are certainly an improvement on the existing car-centric movement network around the area.
The consultation closes on 17 February 2020 and you can view all of the designs and consultation survey via this link: secure.manchester.gov.uk
Words by Charles Ward. Photographs by Jonathan Keenan. The first birthday of WalkRride GM was celebrated on 3 December at the Friends’ Meeting House, along with 100 enthusiastic attendees. Proceedings were opened by Nadia Kerr, who reminded everyone of the sterling efforts of the founding […]
25 schemes put forward for tranche 6 of the Bee Network proposals were granted programme entry during the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) committee meeting last week. The schemes include victories for WalkRide subgroups in Romiley and The Heatons, where active neighbourhood proposals were granted […]
Levenshulme Bee Network is inviting more voices from the local community to have their say on what improvements are needed to the movement network in the area.
A November catch-up event has been announced to take place from 6pm on Tue 26 November at Arcadia, Stockport Road. For information, click here.
The community-led active neighbourhood scheme has adopted a multimedia approach to gather as many viewpoints as possible in order to design a people-oriented network of streets.
Using their online mapping platform, hosted via Commonplace, the Levy Bee Network has already received nearly 500 comments relating to observations of transport activity, including traffic speeds, parking behaviour, air and noise pollution, accessibility, pavement widths and green space. The platform also invites respondents to request a bike hangar for secure cycle parking in their area.
Flyers have also been distributed to homes and businesses in the project area, which stretches approximately from Matthews Lane in the north to Crossley Road in the south, and from Kingsway in the west to Highfield Country Park in the east.
Levenshulme Mini Holland was awarded £2.5m in tranche 4 of the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund.
Greater Manchester Walking is offering financial support to active travel organisations in their aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the region. The grants, totalling £225,000, will be available to groups operating in the Community, Voluntary and Social Enterprise (CVSE) sector who […]