Active Neighbourhood – Nothing Confirmed Yet

What’s Going On With Our Active Neighbourhood?

Councillors have confirmed the Active Neighbourhood scheme will have a new public consultation and nothing is confirmed yet.

A meeting attended by over 60 residents, including Levenshulme Community Association Secretary Jeremy Hoad, was at times tense but has brought some welcome clarity to the current status of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood.

Levenshulme Councillors Basat Sheikh and Zahid Hussain attended a meeting organised by the One Levenshulme group on 20 September after the release of a statement from Manchester City Council that said:

Following the end of this trial, and reviews of feedback, all 14 filters will be made permanent.

Manchester City Council statement, 13 September 2021

Councillors say this statement by Manchester City Council about the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme was made “out of context” and this is only a partial explanation of the current situation. The current road blocks / “modal filters” will only be made permanent if a full plan for the Active Neighbourhood is approved for implementation following a public consultation.

The next stage designs will provide a full plan for interventions well beyond the current trial of 14 road blocks / “modal filters” in Levenshulme. This is the first time our community will be provided with comprehensive proposals and and a plan for the Active Neighbourhood, three years after the project started. It is understood the plans will include measures for both Levenshulme and Burnage.

The statement went on to say that:

“This month [August 2021] the Highways Service presented the initial outline designs for the proposed next stage of the Active Travel Neighbourhood scheme to ward councillors in both areas. These were agreed in principle, with the plans also submitted to Transport for Greater Manchester for their review and comment.”

Manchester City Council statement, 13 September 2021

A New Public Consultation

The new plans will be released soon and go to a public consultation. Councillors did not provide details of the consultation but accepted that previous consultations and the scheme as a whole had been “…a complete mess from the beginning…” and that it had “…gone wrong…”. They stated they had been “…working behind the scenes…” to improve the plans and had rejected previous drafts before accepting the current proposals.

Councillor Hussain stated that so far the project had spent £800,000 and that the budget had been reduced for the whole scheme. The original budget was up to £700,000 for development work and to undertake a trial with a further £1.8m available dependent on a successful business case proposal to TfGM for full implementation.

When pressed by residents councillors clarified that if residents were not happy with all the proposals then the scheme would not go ahead and everything – including the current road blocks / “modal filters” – would be removed.

It was also stated by councillors that the road blocks / “modal filters” would not be retained or made permanent until or unless problems on all roads were addressed, something councillors had insisted on for the scheme to progress. No scheme would be approved before that. However, councillors were confident that the community would welcome the final plans when they saw the designs.

Where’s the Data?

Councillors were also asked “Where’s the data?” as the whole scheme was claimed to be evidence based and data driven as well as community led. Councillors explained that the filters had been left in place so that the project could gather more data after the trial had finished [in June 2021] as Covid19 restrictions were lifted. Monitoring, managed by Manchester Urban Observatory (based at the University of Manchester) had taken place throughout the trial. Doubts were raised by residents about how accurate, useful or comprehensive this data was as well as the placement of monitoring equipment.

What will the final plans look like?

More comprehensive, inclusive and balanced, it seems. Reference was made to traffic calming, chicanes, crossings, pavement improvements and speed tables (large raised flat areas on the road). These are the sorts of measures residents, businesses and community groups (including Levenshulme Community Association) have been calling for throughout the project.

Unfortunately the attitude previously of the Project Team (with Sustrans and Levenshulme Bee Network before they were removed from the project in 2020) was dismissive of this more balanced approach and focussed primarily on installing road blocks / “modal filters” to create a “Low Traffic Neighbourhood”.

Residents also raised concerns about a number of related issues: dangerous driving in the area which was getting worse; problems with HGVs; speeding; anti-social behaviour around the road blocks; ongoing issues with emergency services and problems for carers and other service providers needing to easily meet residents’ needs. These reflected concerns that had consistently been raised by the LCA, residents and businesses that the approach throughout the project had been limited and did not focus on solving the problems we faced as a community or prioritise the aims of the project to actually make our roads safer and encourage walking and cycling.

Councillors stressed that the scheme was “…not about cycling…” but about “…Active Travel, creating shared space and provision for walking, cycling and drivers getting around.”

What happens next?

The final Active Neighbourhood plans should be made public in the next few weeks. The council has already indicated there will be a public engagement meeting in late September / early October.

Serious concerns were raised about how the consultation would be run. Residents made clear that they were dissatisfied with previous consultation and engagement and councillors accepted this had not been done well. Residents at the meeting highlighted the exclusive, biased and insecure nature of the online Commonplace system and the limited and ineffective information available.

As yet it is unclear what changes will be made to the consultation process, when it will start or how long it will run for. It is also unclear how decisions will be made, what criteria will be used and what attempts will be made to ensure the whole community can get involved and have their voices heard effectively.

Councillors Sheikh and Hussain were thanked for their attendance at the meeting and it was made clear by residents that this ongoing discussion was very welcome. Thanks also to Mark at the Bluebell for hosting the meeting.

Levenshulme Community Association will continue to provide updates and announcements as they are available to enable residents and businesses to be fully involved in this next stage of what has so far been a frustrating and difficult experience for many people.

Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund

NEW Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund 

Applications now open until 31st May 2021

Do you have an idea to help your community recycle, reduce or reuse? Apply for a grant of between £200 and £20,000 to get your green plans off the ground. The fund is a joint Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) and Suez initiative to support Greater Manchester’s Community and Voluntary sector.

Full details are available HERE

Do you have an idea for a project?

Now is the time for you to start thinking about how your organisation can help us improve waste and recycling in Greater Manchester.

The fund aims to support projects which prevent, reuse, or recycle household waste, and also reduce contamination, promote sustainable use of waste and resources, and generate wider social benefits for the communities of Greater Manchester. We want to encourage and support innovative projects that are novel and involve a new and untried approach to tackling an issue in the key waste areas. Your project will need to focus on at least one of these areas.

This year we will focus on these priority areas:

  • waste prevention
  • increasing recycling
  • reuse of household waste
  • reducing contamination

Your project will need to focus on one or more of these priority waste streams:

  • Food waste
  • Paper and card
  • Glass
  • Textiles
  • Furniture
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

When can I apply?

The Community Fund 2021-22 will be open for submission of applications from Thursday 1st April until 31st May 2021.

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from Community and Voluntary Sector organisations such as:

  • Registered Charity (charity number must be provided)
  • Not-for-profit organisation (defined as a registered legal entity that does not make a private profit for directors, members, or shareholders)
  • Community, Neighbourhood or Voluntary Group
  • Faith group delivering community work
  • School, College or University

A walk-through application video from Greater Manchester Environment Fund can be found below.

The fund is supported through profits from the new ‘Renew’ reuse shops. The Renew shops will be opening spring 2021 and will be based at 3 household waste recycling centres:

  • Woodhouse Lane, Trafford
  • Boysnope Wharf in Salford
  • Arkwright St, Oldham

The shops will sell pre-owned items that have been donated by residents at Household Recycling Centres across Greater Manchester (excluding Wigan).

Funding for Eco Streets

Design Your Own Eco-Street from Groundwork Greater Manchester gives communities the chance to win £6,000 funding to transform an unused area into a green space. 

The Eco-Streets competition seeks to transform two un-used, un-loved areas in Greater Manchester into spaces that feature nature-based-solutions to climate change. Each design will receive £6,000 in funding and support from Groundwork’s Community Enablers to transform their spaces in 2021.

With support from Groundwork, Eco-Streets will equip communities with the skills to design, install and maintain natural features to create vibrant, green community spaces to benefit people while tackling climate change.   

Further information including eligibility and how to register interest is available HERE

Image from Groundwork Greater Manchester

New Active Neighbourhood Plans released

The revised plans for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood have been released. Full information is available on the new website HERE.

The project has now been split into two with Phase 1 covering Levenshulme and Phase 2 covering Burnage. A trial of road blocks / “modal filters” will start in December 2020 and last for a minimum of six months.

Note that a “modal filter” is the name given to something that blocks the road to vehicular traffic but still allows access through for pedestrians and cyclists (and presumably mopeds and motorbikes).

Manchester City Council says:

We now have a plan for the future direction of the project, and have decided to tackle it in two phases. We would like your feedback on some of the measures which we are going to trial (Phase 1). The trial measures will start to be put in place from December (during school holidays).This is also a great way for the scheme to be seen in action, tested and analysed, so it can be tweaked or changed where required but also allow peoples habits to change and through traffic to re-route.

Because of the density of schools in the Cringle Park (Phase 2) area, and issues with traffic congestion, we are continuing to seek opinions from local residents, businesses and schools on what measures are needed and where before they are trialled.

We hope to commence the trial in the Festive season break in December and will last a minimum of 6 months. The final designs for the Active neighbourhood will be drawn up based on the results of the consultation and implemented within 18 months should the funding application be successful.

MCC Active Neighbourhood Plans

The Phase 1 trial area excludes Burnage. No date has been suggested yet for Phase 2 in Burnage. The Phase 1 / Phase 2 split has been done based on political Wards, not the Park Area cells the Project has identified which is why the Henderson Street road block / “modal filter” is included in Phase 1.

The Levenshulme Phase 1 trial identifies 25 road blocks / “modal filters” outlined on the map below. The revised plans are not very different to the original plans. We will look at them in detail and post further information once we have worked out what differences there are.

The Phase 1 trial is still primarily for road blocks / “modal filters”. The council is also asking for feedback on where temporary crossings and traffic calming could be located as part of its Phase 1 consultation. The council says:

The trial includes a number of temporary crossing points and traffic calming measures to provide immediate benefits on routes that have been raised through previous consultation. [ * ]

We understand from previous feedback that traffic volume and speeds make certain streets hard to cross. We’d like you to tell us where you feel crossing points or traffic calming may help day to day life and make getting around safer and easier.

Further community feedback on the locations of these is welcomed, so that a final Trial Plan can be developed. The trial plan has a degree of flexibility once live, but we need to allow the trial to bed in to understand how habits change and the trial is being used. 

MCC Active Neighbourhood crossings and traffic calming

[ * NOTE: there is no evidence of this on the map for the Phase 1 trial]

Give your feedback

Phase 1 feedback (Levenshulme) can only be made by responding to the 25 locations identified by the council. You can, however, drop a pin on the map for the Phase 2 feedback (Burnage) to identify a location and comment where you think an intervention could or should be located.

Phase 1 (Levenshulme)

You can comment HERE on the proposed road blocks / “modal filters”.

You can comment HERE on where you think crossings and traffic calming should go.

You can comment HERE on the whole scheme.

Phase 2 (Burnage)

You can comment HERE on what measures you think should be included in Phase 2.

How has the Project Changed?

There are a number of differences between the May proposals and the new proposals released in September. A summary is provided here for reference.

Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood Project v1 and v2 Comparison

( RB/MF = Road Block / “Modal Filter” )

 Version 1May 2020Version 2 Sept 2020v2 Map ref.Changes
Green Bank Park Area    
Longden RoadRB/MFRB/MF1Same as v1
Armitage AvenueRB/MFRB/MF2Same as v1
Mayford RoadRB/MFRB/MF3Same as v1
Guildford Road / Audley RoadRB/MF (Diagonal)RB/MF4Moved along Guildford Road and now a standard RB/MF
Stovell Avenue / Northmoor RoadBus Gate  Bus Gate removed
Manor Road 1 (between Barlow Road and Rushmere Avenue)RB/MFRB/MF5Same as v1
Manor Road 2 RB/MF6Moved to where a new crossing was proposed originally
Caremine Avenue RB/MF7EXTRA RB/MF
Portville RoadRB/MFRB/MF8Same as v1
Dunstable StreetRB/MFRB/MF9Same as v1
Barlow RoadRB/MFRB/MF10Same as v1
Cardus Street (North) RB/MF11EXTRA RB/MF and road changed to two-way traffic
Chapel Street Park Area    
Cardus Street (South) RB/MF12Same as v1
Chapel Street (West)RB/MFRB/MF13Same as v1
Chapel Street (East)RB/MFRB/MF14Same as v1
Chapel Street / Stockport Road junction   Changed to two-way traffic
Atlas PlaceRB/MFRB/MF15Same as v1
Delamere Road (West)RB/MFRB/MF16Same as v1 with road changed from one-way to two-way traffic
Delamere Road / Gordon AvenueRB/MF (Diagonal)RB/MF17Same as v1
Crayfield RoadRB/MFRB/MF18Same as v1
Marley RoadRB/MFRB/MF19Same as v1
Dorset RoadRB/MFRB/MF20Same as v1
Molyneux RoadRB/MFRB/MF21Same as v1
Broom Lane / Stockport Road junction   Changed to allow left and right turning
Cromwell Grove / Stockport Road junction   Changed to allow left and right turning
West Point Gardens Area    
Osborne RoadRB/MFRB/MF22Same as v1
Victoria RoadRB/MF (Diagonal)RB/MF23Changed from diagonal RB/MF to standard and moved to junction with Albert Road
Buckhurst RoadRB/MFRB/MF24Same as v1
Green DriveRB/MF  RB/MF removed (private road)
Lytham RoadRB/MF  RB/MF removed and road left as it is now
Cringle Park Area (Burnage)    
Fortuna Grove / Monica GroveRB/MF (Diagonal)  Further consultation
Burnage Hall RoadRB/MF  Further consultation
Slade Lane (near Linden Park)Bus Gate  Further consultation
Errwood Road (near Alma Park Primary)Bus Gate  Further consultation
Clare RoadRB/MF  Further consultation
Alma RoadRB/MF  Further consultation
Henderson StreetRB/MFRB/MF25Same as v1
L&B Active Neighbourhood Version Comparison (May plan v1 / September Plan v2)

Levenshulme & Burnage Active Neighbourhood Phase 1 Map

You can view the map online HERE or download a PDF version below.

GM Road Charging Clean Air Plan

Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a ‘category C’ charging Clean Air Zone. This would cover local roads across the whole of Greater Manchester from spring 2022, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The intention is to to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits as soon as possible.

The proposed Clean Air Zone aims to:

  • Bring NO2 emissions within legal limits as soon as possible and by 2024 at the latest.
  • Discourage polluting commercial vehicles from travelling on local roads in Greater Manchester.
  • Encourage businesses to switch to cleaner, low- or zero-emission vehicles.

The proposed Zone would cover all local roads across Greater Manchester. It would not include motorways and some main trunk roads managed by Highways England. The exact boundary is being developed by looking in detail at the local road network and using public feedback. See the Greater Manchester boundary, and the stretches of roads which have been identified as breaching legal NO2 limits without action, on our MappingGM page.

The most polluting commercial vehicles would pay a daily charge to travel on local roads in the Zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds would not be charged. The Zone would be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The following are proposed daily charges for the non-compliant commercial vehicles:

  • Buses, coaches and Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from spring 2022)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from spring 2022)
  • Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 2023)

If the daily charge for a non-compliant vehicle isn’t paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 would be issued, in addition to the unpaid daily charge.

The 10 Greater Manchester local authorities have worked together to consider a wide range of measures to tackle air pollution, alongside a Clean Air Zone. Together, these form the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

The costs of introducing a Clean Air Zone are covered by government. 

Further information including proposed charges are available HERE.

An eight week consultation will be launched in October 2020.