Residents asked to feedback on plans for low traffic neighbourhoods in Bolton and Bury
Residents in Bolton and Bury are being asked how they’d like to improve the streets where they live as part of plans to create a series of new low-traffic neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester.
Low-traffic neighbourhoods, known locally as Active Neighbourhoods, focus on prioritising the movement, health and safety of people over cars by using planters to stop rat-running on residential streets.
These innovative schemes typically create quieter streets for residents to chat and for children to play, as well as making trips to schools and the shops safer.
Bolton’s plans focus on the Oldhams Estate in Astley Bridge, where rat-running has previously been identified as an issue for residents. In Bury, changes will be implemented in the Heaton Park area with the intention of improving the safety and appearance of Whittaker Lane, as well as improving links to the park, local schools and transport hubs.
Residents are being asked to feedback what they like about their area, but also how it could be made better - and whether they would like to stop through traffic using their streets as a short-cut.
The two schemes form part of the Bee Network, a 10-year plan for Greater Manchester to deliver the UK’s largest cycling and walking network, eventually spanning 1,800 miles. The focus is on enabling people to leave the car at home for everyday trips to school or to the shops. This will contribute to the one million additional daily sustainable journeys Greater Manchester wants to achieve by 2040, while also having wider benefits to health, congestion and clean air.
Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Over the last decade traffic levels on main roads has barely risen, but journeys on residential streets have risen by a staggering 45%.
“That’s five billion more miles being driven every year past people’s front doors, mostly by people using what should be quiet neighbourhood streets as shortcuts and that’s not right.
“Neighbourhoods should be first and foremost for the people who live there, they should feel safe and able to ride, scoot or simply walk to shops and schools in comfort if they choose to, we need to get those rights back.
“By stopping through traffic but keeping full access to homes for people who need to go there, Active Neighbourhoods prioritise those that call it home. I’d like to encourage local residents in Bolton and Bury, who want safe space outside their homes for them and their families, to get involved and tell us how they want their streets to look and feel.”
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Stuart Haslam, said: “This consultation is an opportunity for us to work together with the community to get the right blend of measures to respond to local needs.
“With Covid-19, we have seen spaces being used differently with more reliance on active travel, use of public transport and increased home working.
“We need to hear people’s thoughts, particularly residents who live in the area – this is your neighbourhood, and we want to develop plans with your feedback.”
Funding for Active Neighbourhoods is from a central government pot – and has to be used for schemes like this.
Councillor Alan Quinn, Bury’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “Creating quieter and safer streets, plus better linkages to local facilities such as shops, parks, schools and transport hubs will have many benefits for the residents of the Whittaker Lane area.
“People that live in low traffic neighbourhoods have better air quality and generally find it easier to embrace positive lifestyle changes due to improved opportunities to be more active and boost physical and mental wellbeing.
“This survey offers residents a real chance to re-shape where they live and build a stronger community and I strongly encourage local people and businesses to have their say.”
There are currently low-traffic neighbourhoods in every district of Greater Manchester, many of which were created during the 1990s.
The latest Active Neighbourhoods are part of a GM-wide programme of 10 schemes (one per district) to be delivered by Arup and Sustrans in 2021, in partnership with councils and TfGM.
Councils have also submitted Active Neighbourhoods proposals as part of the wider cycling and walking programme. There are an additional two neighbourhoods each for Bolton and Bury, totaling over 20 currently under development across Greater Manchester.
Have your say on the Bolton scheme.
Have your say on the Bury scheme.
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