Cheshire East Council has given the green light for a trial 'active travel' scheme in Wilmslow, after the initial proposal put forward has been revised.
The scheme will see a 20mph zone, along with traffic calming measures, introduced in the Pownall Park area, to make it safer for cycling and walking.
Initially the Council proposed to close the road, except for cyclists, near the junction of Broad Walk and Carrwood Road, as a temporary measure but this proved controversial.
Councillor Mark Goldsmith confirmed the revised scheme is just being finalised and will go out to public consultation in the next few days.
He said ""The new proposal keeps the 20mph zone but does not involve any road closures. Rather than completely block the road, it will make the school time rat-run a less attractive option. However, it will mean that when the road is quieter at other times of the day, the residents will still be able to use it to access the centre of Wilmslow.".
Eight schemes are being put in place in seven Cheshire East towns on an experimental basis, as a first phase which is designed to improve walking and cycling and improve access to our town centres, areas for employment and schools.
The move followed recent submissions by town and parish councils and local members of more than 500 local ideas as to what measures may work in their towns and villages.
In total three of the initial ideas put forward have been revised, in response to feedback from communities, and a ninth scheme, in Knutsford, has been withdrawn.
Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: "These initial projects are experimental and will be subject to ongoing feedback and discussions with our communities and stakeholders. That is why we sought the views of local residents and councillors and have responded to what they said.
"This engagement will enable us to monitor and refine these measures before anything is considered to be made permanent – so we get schemes that are right for each community.
"These are exciting projects and part of steps taken by this council to encourage more people to get active and cycle and walk more. But they have to be right for each specific location.
"We will continue to work with town and parish councils to develop additional schemes. Our aim is to deliver active travel projects that are right for each town and developed in partnership with each local area and local members."
The first eight active travel schemes, totalling investment of £155,000, are at:
● Crewe town centre – improved access for cycles;
● Coronation Street, Crewe, near Sir William Stanier School – 20mph zone and other traffic calming measures to create a low traffic neighbourhood;
● Congleton town centre – improved access for cycles;
● Macclesfield town centre – improved access for cycles;
● Ivy Road, Macclesfield – traffic calming measures to reduce the volume and speed of through traffic;
● Hawthorn Lane, Wilmslow – 20mph zone and associated traffic calming measures;
● Old Middlewich Road, Sandbach – 20mph zone and parking suspension to provide a dedicated cycle lane;
● Lodge Road, Alsager – through traffic restricted in one direction to create more road space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Measures will also help to reserve capacity on public transport for those who really need it and should help to reduce congestion on some routes to schools. Further schemes will be developed in later phases, following pledged government funding of up to £619,000.
Cllr Crane added: "We know people's travel behaviour has changed during the lockdown and we are determined to lock in the benefits of more people walking and cycling to make our town centres safer, healthier and more welcoming to shoppers and visitors.
"We know ditching the car and taking up daily walking or cycling is good for your health, and good for the environment. Creating a safer environment in our towns will hopefully encourage more people out of their cars and to be more active, for those residents who are able to do so.
"Being successful, with more people walking and cycling as a result of these measures, may attract additional funding from government and we welcome feedback, both positive and negative, on the measures being trialled."
To view details of the active travel measures in place and give feedback, visit:https://cheshireeastactivetravel.commonplace.is/