It looks like the start of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood trial has been delayed (although it is possible we have missed the formal announcement).
The council would have had to issue formal notification of the Phase 1 road blocks / “modal filters” trial today at the latest if it was to start on 19 December as previously announced. However, there is no notice in the “public notices” section of the MEN. The council’s website also makes no mention of the trial starting on 19 December and the project website also has no announcements or updates.
In fact, reference to the Phase 1 trial start date has been removed from the council’s website which now says “The trial measures will start to be put in place from December (during school holidays).” So the trial is still planned to start in December but it doesn’t look like that will happen on 19 December.
The phrasing on the council’s website also suggests all elements of the trial will not be installed at the same time. This might have something to do with the proposed road works at the end of Broom Lane and Chapel Street where those roads meet the A6 that are part of the plans released in September 2020. These haven’t even started yet. Without those changes all residents and businesses in the blocked off area off Chapel Street would have to access their properties via Elbow Street. If the trial measures are installed in phases that would also suggest the trial will run for longer than the original six months as all measures must be trialled for a minimum of six months.
So we have more waiting with a continued lack of information. It isn’t even clear today – the legal deadline for announcing the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order to commence on 19 December – when the council might even start to install the trial measures, how long the trial measures will take to install fully, where specifically there are to be located on the roads, how turning points and access will be facilitated, whether emergency services have approved any plans yet or even what will be included in the plans as they might change from the revised plans announced in September. Or they might not.
Phase 2 (Burnage)
At the moment we also do not know how and plans for Phase 2 covering Burnage Ward will be decided on or trialled. There is an ongoing consultation on Phase 2 until 21 December 2020.
We understand an online consultation event was planned for Crossley Road and Grangethorpe Drive although no details were provided when requested.
Monitoring and data gathering
Additional traffic and air quality equipment is also planned for some of the busier “through routes” but this might not be installed until next year. We will provide further updates once any changes or additions are confirmed. This monitoring is being done by Manchester Urban Observatory at the University of Manchester and started earlier this summer. Unfortunately this means there may not be any substantive pre-trial data for comparison with the trial data once the road blocks / “modal filters” are installed for our busiest roads.
The Active Neighbourhood project itself has not installed any traffic or air quality monitoring equipment in the almost two years the project has been running despite previous claims this was being done in the summer of 2019. Information on the Manchester Urban Observatory monitoring was previously reported by the LCA HERE and the data is freely available on the MUO website HERE.
The Active Neighbourhood project has confirmed its intention to hold further consultation events online with businesses and what it identifies as “the BAME community”. This was announced at the online events at the end of October 2020. So far not dates have been confirmed for these events but we will provide information as and when they are confirmed. The second stage consultation on the revised plans announced in September ended on 4 November 2020.
The further delays and lack of information is, to say the least, disappointing.
Clarification on road works near schools
For clarification please note that the roadworks being undertaken on Barlow Road at the back of Chapel Street Primary School, the previous work done on Broom Lane to install traffic calming and the work done around Alma Park Primary School has nothing to do with the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood project. This work is part of a separate initiative for safer streets around schools. A previous LCA article about this is available HERE.