Three more low traffic neighbourhoods open for resident feedback in Greater Manchester
Residents of neighbourhoods in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside 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 or bollards 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.
Tameside’s plans focus on the Dukinfield area north of Dewsnap Lane, with Oldham focusing on the Chadderton North and Westwood area, and Rochdale on the Milkstone & Deeplish area surrounding Rochdale station. All three schemes aim to address existing issues with rat running traffic and encourage more journeys by walking and cycling.
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 three 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% in Greater Manchester.
“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 Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside 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.”
Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Transport and Connectivity Cllr Warren Bray said: “This is a great opportunity to bring improvements to Dukinfield and create a more scenic, safer, greener and healthier place to live and work.
“I’d encourage residents, the people that know the area best, to get involved and have their say on what changes they’d like to see so that everyone can benefit. Please do this by filling out the quick survey and, if possible, attending the workshops.”
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture said: “Over the last 12 months residents of all ages have been playing, exercising, and walking a lot more in their local areas.
“This means it is vital that our neighbourhoods are safe, and people aren’t being put in potential danger by people using their streets as a short cut, for example.
“We want to come up with designs that we feel are right for our communities and need input from residents to help us do this.
“These plans will also fit with our approach to becoming a greener borough, with less congestion, better air quality and action on climate change.”
“We are fully aware that local people may have strong opinions on schemes such as low traffic neighbourhoods, both for and against, so it is important that everyone has their say throughout the consultation period.”
Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for Quality of place at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We support TfGM’s move to create Active Neighbourhoods in our borough as they help give streets back to residents by cutting down on rat running, which improves everybody’s safety. They also make it easier for people to opt for healthier and more sustainable travel options.
“These proposals are at their earliest stages and it’s important that local people help to shape them as they move forward, so I’d urge them to get involved with this online consultation and feed in their views.”
There are currently existing 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 submitted Active Neighbourhoods proposals as part of the wider cycling and walking programme. There are an additional two neighbourhoods each for Bolton and Stockport, totaling over 20 currently under development across Greater Manchester.
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