The technical meeting of the Trafford Cycle Forum was held on 1st February 2017 at Trafford Town, with Amey representing Trafford Council and about ten members of the forum.
- General project update
- Metrolink Trafford Park Line
- Stretford Rd and Talbot Rd
- Sevenways roundabout & Kings Rd / Upper Chorlton Rd junction
- NCN 55
- Quiet link Altrincham
- Moss Lane, Altrincham (contraflow cycle lanes generally)
- Cycle Parking
The following is a summary of the key schemes discussed at the technical meeting. More detailed minutes I’ll link to when they become available.
Metrolink Trafford Park Line
The view from Amey was that the TPL plans are very much a done deal, with no scope for the forum to influence. Amey also thought that the forum must have been consulted in the past on the proposals, but I’m not aware of this happening.
It is believed that the detailed designs have been progressing behind closed doors at TfGM, while waiting for DfT approval. The expectation is these should be available soon.
Partly from a cycling perspective, but also as someone concerned at the loss of Trafford Wharf to Metrolink, I’m disappointed by the lack of engagement or visibility here. Given the mistakes made in regards to cycling on some of the recently opened Metrolink lines, I think TfGM need to do better.
Stretford Road and Talbot Road
According to Amey, the proposals for Stretford Road and Talbot Road are now close to completion and they will be putting them forward for approval soon. The latest proposals were sent to the forum for review prior to the meeting.
Overall, I welcome the changes to Stretford Road and Talbot Road. The introduction of light segregation (Orcas and wands) on both roads should help to deter most motor traffic from encroaching on the cycleway. Though whether it will stop motor traffic parking in the cycleway, I’m not sure.
Bus stop bypasses and the moving of the cycleway to the inside of the parking bays should have a significant positive impact to Stretford Road.
It’s not perfect and there’s some points I’d like to see addressed:
- The segregation should carry on closer to the junctions. In the proposals, it has a tendency to finish where it’s needed most.
- The lack of segregation between White City Way and Chester Road junctions on Talbot Road is disappointing. Particularly northbound, where there’s tendency for motor traffic to encroach on the cycleway.
Sevenways roundabout and Kings Road / Upper Chorlton Road junction
Details of these improvements have only recently come to light, with Amey working on securing funding beforehand. Proposals for both schemes were shared with the forum for review prior to the meeting, and Amey were at pains to point out that it is very much an accident reduction scheme.
The proposals for Sevenways should help to significantly slow traffic down, which will make it safer. Anyone who knows this junction, will know it’s pretty unpleasant whether you’re walking, cycling or driving. With my cycling hat on, I’d love the proposals to be much more ambitious for cycling and there is the space to do it. But it’s pretty clear right now, there isn’t the will or the funding to do it.
As someone who’s local to the area, I think Amey need to consider pedestrians more in the proposals, particularly given the proximity to Moss Park Infant and Junior schools. I’d like to see pedestrians given priority at each of the arms of the roundabouts, probably with zebra crossings.
The proposals for the Kings Road / Upper Chorlton Road junction seem sensible, with the angle of approach from Kings Road being much closer to 90 degrees. This will help massively with visibility and should reduce the likelihood of accidents.
One potential issue is the cycleway joining Upper Chorlton Road. With the angle of approach and its position away from the road, may mean that traffic on Upper Chorlton Road won’t expect cycles to be pulling out there.
Chester Road / Stretford Road junction
Amey shared some very early sketches of possible changes to the Chester Road / Stretford Road junction.
The purpose of the changes is to enable easier transition from Talbot Road / Chester Road to Stretford Road. Currently, using the cycle lane to turn right onto Stretford Road means you’re sandwiched between two lanes., which is unpleasant and not very safe.
The early proposals have a separately signalled right turn for cycles on the left hand side of Chester Road, going onto Stretford Road. This sounds promising and I’m generally in favour of this, but I’d need to see proposals once they’ve been worked up.
A56 / Davyhulme Road East junction
Just before the meeting, Amey shared drawings of the proposals for the A56 / Davyhulme Road East junction. I wasn’t aware of changes being planned here, though I know the junction well as I use it often and I’m pleased to see it being improved.
The proposals include upgrades of the A56 crossing just south of Davyhulme Road East from pelicans to toucans, enabling bikes to cross here legally. They also include an upgrade to the Davyhulme Road East crossing to a two stage staggered puffin crossing and a reduction in traffic lanes onto the A56.
The introduction of toucans on the A56 are welcome, but won’t have a significant impact, as many bikes cross here anyway. The changes to the Davyhulme Road East crossing will have a massive positive impact. Currently, this crossing is quite dangerous, with high levels of traffic at peak times. It’s also used by many children going to the two schools next to the junction.
While looking at this junction, the forum suggested an improvement for bikes going from the A56 or Davyhulme Road East to Talbot Road. Currently doing this, you need to negotiate three traffic lanes to reach the right turning lanes for Talbot Road, while uphill over Longford Bridge.
The forum has proposed that an additional crossing be added after Longford bridge, enabling pedestrians and bikes to cross from the the A56 to Talbot Road when heading north. I think including this would be a massive improvement from a safety point of view, particularly for those that are less confident on a bike.
It was good to see progress on the schemes in Trafford and for them to be getting shared with the forum. It’s clear Trafford don’t have access to the kind of funds Manchester has for the Oxford Road / Wilmslow Road route, but they seem to be making the most of what they have.