Funding secured for Wilmslow to Handforth walking and cycling route

What the Wilmslow cycle walking route could look like

Cheshire East Council has been awarded almost £1.3m by Active Travel England to develop a new 1.5-mile walking and cycling route between Wilmslow town centre and Handforth, along the existing B5358 Manchester Road.

The funding will enable the council to carry out further improvements and deliver a more modern pedestrian and cycling-friendly scheme, which it says will have clear segregation from traffic, enhanced safety, and measures to discourage obstructive vehicle parking.

The plans proposed to Active Travel England, which were based upon public consultations, include a dedicated route with signing at key transition points and reducing the speed limit on Manchester Road from 40mph to 30mph. It is proposed that there will be greater priority for pedestrians at junctions, including an additional pedestrian crossing at the junction with Station Road, Handforth, while cyclists will get priority at signalled junctions.

Improvements to the public realm will include benches along the route, low-level planters, and more substantial planting schemes. Improvements to bus stops are also included in the plans.

The council has been awarded £1,297,882 by Active Travel England to develop the Manchester Road, Wilmslow and Handforth scheme.

Cheshire East Council deputy leader, Councillor Craig Browne, said: "We are delighted to have been successful in our bid for additional funding which means we can now press ahead with a significantly enhanced, safe and segregated cycle and walking route, connecting Wilmslow and Handforth.

"This scheme underlines our commitment to promote active travel across the borough, by providing safe alternative options to the car, for those who are able to walk or cycle. In turn, this can lead to a healthier lifestyle, improve air quality and reduce the demand for parking spaces in some of our town centres."

Artist's impression – What the proposed Wilmslow-Handforth cycle and walking route could look like.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jonathan Follows
Tuesday 23rd May 2023 at 6:46 pm
My recollection, which I admit could be faulty, is that this was the road in which cars and larger vehicles could park in thr cycle lanes with impunity, because they were only "advisory" or somesuch, which made things difficult for both cyclists and pedestrians. In which case, I am pleased by the new scheme proposals and support them. As a driver I will need to moderate my speed to stick to the new 30mph speed limit, but this is a small price to pay.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 24th May 2023 at 10:42 am
I'm not convinced that serious commuter cyclists will be willing to share space with pedestrians - as is evidenced by an under utilisation of the Wilmslow to Alderley walking / cycling lane.

Just as motorists become impatient of cyclists "blocking" the road, cyclists feel impeded by pedestrians wearing earbuds oblivious to what's going on around them.

For that reason I'm not sure that this "investment" will bring about any real change in travel habits.
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 24th May 2023 at 12:49 pm
I like to get out and do a few walks of my favourite being the old railway route through Bollington to Poynton. It is shared but there is a good section in Adlington which bifurcates . I walk on the naturally narrower section which I assumed was for us for pedestrians, there is much new growth there so very shady. This does not deter the Strava obsessed manimals who careen through with no warning..clearly they assume bells are for little children.The speed merchants are making these shared paths a menace for some of us walkers. On a side note I now notice a new phenomena ...a gang of young cyclists around the town with full black balaclava face masks on (like mini Provo's) slightly disconcerting and definitely new. Am I missing some new cult craze?
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 24th May 2023 at 10:20 pm
#Tony Haluradivth

The plans for Wilmslow to Handforth are not shared-space. It is a dedicated cycle lane on the road but with physical protection from other road users.

Although I totally understand your comments about shared space between pedestrians and cyclists. They were never a good idea and I think they should be banned on health & safety grounds.

And finally, I'd like to say how nice it is to see you are still alive and well. I was wondering if something had happened to you to stop you from keeping your promise to have a photo-shoot with me
David Nelson
Thursday 25th May 2023 at 7:34 am
Happy to help in some way
Roger Thawley
Thursday 25th May 2023 at 8:59 am
Why is the speed limit being reduced? The limit has been 40 for as long as I can recall ....what suddenly changed?
Jon Williams
Thursday 25th May 2023 at 8:07 pm
30 mph is plenty !
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 27th May 2023 at 11:05 am
Hello Stuart, yes alive and still kicking;)) I hope you too are well. My agent has advised against "walkabouts" , signing autographs and photo shoots these days as I tire easily plus I have a " face for Radio" and it has been known to cause cameras to break and babies to cry in the past ;)
Stuart Redgard
Saturday 27th May 2023 at 7:07 pm
#Tony Haluradivth
Pete Wright
Tuesday 6th June 2023 at 8:59 am
The current arrangement of a dotted white line for cyclists means cars can park over it legally and cyclists have to dodge in and out of the traffic which is very dangerous. so something for cyclists needed to be done. Regarding people walking from Handforth to Wilmslow, what colour is the sky in the world of people who think a lot of people do that? Besides, there is a pavement on both sides so pedestrians are already catered for surely
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 6th June 2023 at 2:24 pm
@ Roger Thawley, maybe there are one or two more cars on the road since you “first remember”? Maybe they are all bigger and maybe the standards of observation of drivers is not what it was prior to all the electronic gizmos being foist upon us?