Trafford Cycle Forum Technical Meeting – February 2017

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.

Agenda

  1. General project update
  2. Metrolink Trafford Park Line
  3. Stretford Rd and Talbot Rd
  4. Sevenways roundabout & Kings Rd / Upper Chorlton Rd junction
  5. NCN 55
  6. Quiet link Altrincham
  7. Moss Lane, Altrincham (contraflow cycle lanes generally)
  8. Resurfacing/consultation
  9. Cycle Parking
  10. AOB

Key schemes

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.

tpl-route-map
Metrolink Trafford Park Link route map

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.

talbot-rd-1
Talbot Road proposals – Page 1

Further pages: Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8

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.

stretford-rd-1
Stretford Road proposals – Page 1

Further pages: Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

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.

sevenways
Sevenways proposals

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.

upper-chorlton-rd
Kings Road / Upper Chorlton Road junction proposals

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.

Chester-Rd-Stretford-Rd.jpg
Chester Road / Stretford Road junction

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.

a56-davyhulme-road-east
A56 / Davyhulme Road East junction proposals

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.

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7 thoughts on “Trafford Cycle Forum Technical Meeting – February 2017

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  1. Thanks for posting this. I use Talbot Rd. – Stretford Rd. as part of my commute. Overall these changes are good to see and positive. However, like you I am disappointed / concerned about some aspects. Of particular concern are the changes on Talbot Road, or more accurately the lack of changes where they are most needed. You’ve already highlighted the north end. I can understand but totally disagree with Amey/Trafford about where the cycle lanes are narrow but there are large stretches here where they are full width but still get no extra protection. If the lanes are mandatory then motorists are not allowed in them and there is no reason for not protecting them properly.
    At the junction with Seymour Grove they could have been brave and taken the North/East bound cycle lane out of traffic light control. For a cyclist stopping for a red light here is frustratingly pointless.
    I’m also concerned about two stretches of Talbot Road which are devoid of extra segregation for no apparent reason – namely northbound outside of the town hall and southbound just before Brian Statham Way. Both regularly see people stopping there currently.
    I also have issues with the bus stops on Talbot Road but I rarely if ever see buses down there. Of real concern is the proposed stop north bound before Boyer Street – just don’t, what are they thinking about?
    Stretford Road seems to be much better thought through and will provide a much greater improvement in safety though it is starting from much further back. I’m not happy with the alignment of the cycle lane across Cornbrook Street and the adjacent zebra crossing. This is largely unchanged and regularly sees vehicles straightlining across the cycle lane whether or not there is anybody in it and some of them get very aggressive when you take primary through there.
    With regard to the proposed change to Davyhulme Road junction something needs to be done about the north bound access to Talbot Road. Ignoring that it is going to be cumbersome but there is a stretch from the proposed toucan to where the Bridgewater Way access is that cannot legally be ridden.

    All in all, a good effort Trafford/Amey, could try harder.

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    1. I agree with you on taking the North/East bound cycle lane out of traffic light control. If there was segregation here, there’d be no need for cycles to stop.

      I’d also agree about the parts of Talbot Road that lack segregation and the likelihood of people carrying on using the cycleway for stopping.

      I assume the bus stops are there for match days. Buses that go past Old Trafford on the A56 are redirected down Talbot Road before and after a matches. Though these will end up being used for stopping I expect.

      Concerns about the pinch point at the zebra crossing at Cornbrook Street were raised at the technical meeting. Amey’s view was it helps pedestrians with the narrowing of the road. I hope they revise this section before implementation.

      There definitely needs to be better access to Talbot Road from the A56. I’m surprised there isn’t more collisions on Longford Bridge.

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  2. Thanks for posting this in such detail, good to see some planned changes which will make cycling more visible and hopefully encourage more people to cycle if they feel protected by the segregation.
    I’ve stopped using Stretford Road going NE from Talbot Road and use Chester Road instead as it is quieter and easier to reach just by keeping left ad this also suits my journey but seeing improvements to Stretford Road is a bonus especially as the side roads have to give way to the cycle lane. The Trafford Bar junction does need improvement, some cyclists keep left then have to move over into the sandwiched cycle lane. Going SW from Chester or Stretford Road is hair-raising as any cars/RLJ turning right from Chester Road onto Talbot always encroach into the cycle lane and are hidden by the standing traffic.
    Davyhulme Rd E/Talbot Rd travelling S, I use the road as the ped crossing takes ages to change, the shared pavement cycle path is littered with signposts and also a blind bend & road crossing but using the road is a challenge, having to take the lane over Longford Bridge and then there is a pinch point as 2 lanes merge into 1 on Davyhulme Road E. North bound crossing from Davyhulme Road E to Talbot rd is again a challenge especially on Longford Bridge as vehicles pass too close to race up to the always red traffic light.
    I agree with the post above that at the junction of Talbot Rd, Seymour Grove bikes could be taken out of the red light when there is no ped green man.
    Instead of sevenways I use Melville Road despite the major potholes and it would be good to see this incorporated into a quiet route across the pavement to the lights at the junction of Park Road, Davyhulme Rd East.
    Talbot Road itself, I’m looking forward to seeing if the wands stop the daily stopping of school bus and parents outside Gorse Hill Park, shredding vans at Wisden House and taxis at Oakland House. Can we please have regular cutting of head level tree shoots though and sweeping up of the broken glass after the weekend.

    Overall, looking forward to the improvements and hopefully some fresh tarmac, shame that some danger points won’t yet be improved

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    1. I often use Chester Road instead of Stretford Road too as it’s much quieter, and there’s some good routes through the estate.

      I also often choose to take a parallel route through Gorse Hill and join Talbot Road via Great Stone Road, as it’s quieter and avoids Longford Bridge.

      I don’t use Talbot Road for commuting, so I wasn’t aware of the stopping issues around Gorse Hill Park. Is that a big problem?

      The the taxis at Oakland House I know about. I think the road is wide enough here to incorporate waiting bays and cycleways if they removed the chevrons in the middle. I don’t know how aware Amey are of that issue.

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  3. I don’t use these roads very often, but there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the lay outs. There is plenty of scope on the designs to make cycle lanes a priority with protected or wide lanes. Yet there are improving what is already there. I am not surprised that Amey haven’t consulted with the cycling forum. As long as they can get the cash and get building that’s probably all they are concerned about. Let’s hope local Councillors stand up for cyclists and make sure that the cycling forums are consulted on all new road improvements.

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