A new bridge to the town centre and a host of new routes are among the latest plans for revolutionising walking and cycling in Stockport.
The proposals form part of the The Bee Network – former Olympian Chris Boardman’s masterplan for transforming how people travel around Greater Manchester.
In Stockport the project will come under the banner of ‘Stockport Walk Cycle’ and aims to make journeys on foot or by bike easier and more attractive.
Town hall bosses are now asking residents for their views and suggestions on eight schemes – totalling nearly £18m – as they look to ‘take the lead’ in Greater Manchester. These include:
Heaton Norris Park Bridge (£6.8m) – A landmark cycling and walking route across the M60, linking Heaton Norris Park with Stockport’s town centre at the new Redrock development.
Improved walking and cycling routes through Heaton Norris to the north would complement the new bridge
The Heatons Cycle Link (£2.2m) – A package of measures which would create a connection of quiet routes between the Manchester Cycleway, known as the Fallowfield Loop, and the Trans Pennine Trail.
It includes quiet residential streets, off-road paths and new crossings for getting across busy roads.
Lower Bredbury to Brinnington (£400k) – This would create a walking and cycling route linking Brinnington and the Trans Pennine trail with Stockport town centre.
The scheme upgrades existing footpaths from Brindale Road to Welkin Road to allow use by cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians, while a new pathto Stockport Road West would be created alongside Welkin Road.
Offerton to Stockport (£1.2m) – A new and improved pedestrian and cycle route which would provide a continuous, high standard link between Offerton and the town centre that avoids busy roads.
It would link existing and new residential areas with the local cycle network, and also include a makeover for the Fingerpost Junction, including new paving and improved crossings.
Hazel Grove Links (£900k) – A package of measures to link communities and enhance walking and cycling on off-road routes around Hazel Grove – particularly in Torkington Park – and to improve access to its train station.
Bramhall Park to A6 (£4.1m) – A four km cycle link from Bramhall Park to Simpson’s Corner in Hazel Grove. This is intended as part of the Stockport East – West Cycle Route which will eventually extend from High Lane to Gatley.
It connects residential areas in Hazel Grove and Bramhall with Hazel Grove Leisure Centre, Bramhall High School, Bramhall Park and Hazel Grove High School.
A spur would link to the A555 at Brookside.
A555 Community Links (£1.4m) – Four new ‘safe and attractive’ links between the existing multi-user path along the A555 and residential areas, schools and retail areas in Bramhall, Heald Green and Cheadle Hulme.
The scheme includes the conversion of existing Public Rights of Ways to bridleways, the creation of new bridleways, and new controlled crossings over busy roads.
There would also also be improved cycle and footpaths between Newlands Avenue and Woodstock Avenue, including conversion of the existing pedestrian crossing on Gilbent Road into a pedestrian and cycle signal crossing with landscaping areas.
Cheadle Hulme Crossings Package (£800k) – This includes four signal crossings on busy roads in Cheadle Hulme to provide better access to the wider walking and cycling network and local facilities.
It is understood consultation on £57m of cycling and walking elements at the new Stockport transport interchange – including a landmark new bridge – will come under a separate consultation. The interchange is due to be completed by 2023.
Councillor David Meller, cabinet member for economy and regeneration, wants Stockport to be at the forefront of the region’s walking and cycling revolution – and says the input of the public will be vital.
He said: “We want Stockport to become pioneers when it comes to cycling and walking routes in Greater Manchester: I want us to lead on this in Greater Manchester.
“The Mayoral Challenge Fund is key to this aim and I want residents to let us know what they think about the proposals on the table. It’s absolutely essential these proposals have the support of local communities and we take a bottom-up approach.”
Councillor Meller said he hoped the new schemes would make Stockport a healthier and safer place to live.
He added: “Our main aim is to increase the number of our residents who cycle and walk to their destination – whether that be it to work or for leisure. Not only will this help us achieve cleaner air, but it will help achieve safer roads as well.
“Our proposals showcase our belief in the Greater Manchester Cycle Bee Network and the positives that it will bring to the environment and the region as a whole. I hope residents get involved with the consultation over the next few weeks.”
A four-week consultation on these proposals, which closes on November 4, has now been launched.