Stockport seeks active travel link to Heatons
A consultation has been opened, with the council asking for input on plans for a 3.3km walking and cycling route linking the suburbs to the town centre.
The project looks to make permanent a temporay measure introduced in summer 2020 by Stockport Council, which installed a temporary route along quieter streets between Heaton Chapel and the central area.
This was delivered through the national Emergency Active Travel Fund, which enabled local authorities to use temporary interventions to encourage travel on foot or by bike whilst maintaining social distancing and avoiding overcrowding on public transport.
Early tweaks were made following feedback from residents, changes including the removal of temporary signals at Heaton Chapel railway station.
Now the council has fleshed out plans to turn the temporary EATF route into a permanent scheme, to be funded through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund.
Initially spearheaded in Greater Manchester by Chris Boardman , who has now departed as transport commissioner for a national brief, plans for active travel have met with a mixed reception so far.
In December, Manchester went to the public for a third time with plans to build on well-received 2020 changes by fully pedestrianising Stevenson Square.
Liverpool too has pushed on with active travel, cycleways being a central point of the £47m city centre connectivity project that covers improvements to The Strand and Lime Street among others.
A key aspect of the proposed Stockport scheme is the introduction of traffic lights at the Heaton Moor Road/Peel Moat Road/Broomfield Road junction, next to the Elizabethan pub and St Mary and St Mina’s Church, to provide safer crossing.
In the town centre, the scheme would then connect with existing pedestrian and cycling facilities including those recently installed on George’s Road and Travis Brow, and links via pedestrian and cycle routes across M60 Junction 1 to the Trans-Pennine Trail along the River Mersey in Heaton Norris.
New markings and signage will be introduced, and bollards brought in during the emergency phase retained.
Cllr David Meller, cabinet member for economy and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “This proposed route, which is subject to consultation with residents, would help the council to connect the town centre with the Fallowfield Loop via our recently created Heatons Cycle Links scheme.
“Stockport is passionate about walking and cycling and we want to ensure residents are informed every step of the way when the team is developing proposals such as this one.
“The Mayor’s Challenge Fund is key to our aim of creating these new walking and cycling links and we want them to help increase the number of our residents who cycle and walk to their destination – whether that be to work, school, or for leisure purposes.”
In addition to the Heatons to Stockport route, TfGM is also consulting on proposals to relocate and upgrade a crossing on Manchester Road in Heaton Chapel, close to the junctions of Bourne Street and All Saints’ Road.
The Heatons consultation is now open and runs until 13 February.