Planit-IE’s proposed public realm and movement strategy for Sale town centre will go before Trafford Council’s executive next week with a recommendation that the plan be adopted.
Planit, supported by Civic Engineers, was appointed by Trafford in August 2017 to come up with a plan for improving Sale’s public spaces, with a particular emphasis on the linkages between key buildings, and providing a better experience for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Key areas to be tackled include School Road, where public realm improvements along the length of the high street are recommended, with trees and planting and play areas implemented to increase dwell time.
- The Town Hall Junction, a key arrival point, sees Planit aim to improve the pedestrian environment and movement crossing the roads, improving visual connections and relationship between School Road, Town Hall and Waterside Centre and Northenden Road. After exploring options, Planit said the most effective solution has been found to be an informal roundabout arrangement, maintaining existing capacity whilst allowing space to be reallocated from carriageway to footway. Lower traffic speeds would be encouraged through design.
- At Waterside Plaza, a new formal square outside the Town Hall would be formed from improved carriageway space and an improved canalside space would connect the town centre to the Bridgewater canal with new terracing and improved views, with a new rail replacing the brick wall.
- Other interventions include widened pavements and improved streetscape at Northenden Road, the narrowing of the carriageway and introduction of a segregated two-lane cycleway at Sibson Road and widening of pavements in Springfield Road, around the school.
- At Ashfield Road, pedestrian courtesy crossing points will be introduced in strategic locations to maximise the ease of crossing and improve connection with residential areas, while at Washway Road and Cross Street signal crossings will be changed – Planit recommends a wider study to examine the functionality of the A56.
At this stage, the council estimates a rough cost of £10.6m, and said that initial discussions are taking place with bodies including Transport for Greater Manchester regarding potential funding from the Growth Deal and Transforming Cities Fund, while the Heritage Lottery Fund and developer contributions could also play a part.
Maloneview, which is progressing plans to redevelop The Square shopping centre in a £70m plan would be such a developer. Maloneview submitted its planning application for the scheme in June.
Public consultation has found the local population broadly in favour of a concerted effort in improving the town centre, Trafford said, with particular points made on adding greenery and improving links to the canal.