The recent consultation and engagement around the Fallowfield Loop and Yellow Brick Road allowed users to have their say on what they liked and disliked about the route and provide suggestions of how to improve the route in the future. There was an overwhelming response to the engagement exercise with over 5200 residents and users having their say.This was in part due to the support provided by Friends of Fallowfield Loop, who helped promote the consultation and placeposters along the route.
People who took part told us that the existing urban greenway along the Fallowfield Loop and Stockport Branch Canal is cherished for its rural feel within an urban environment. Users feel like they can escape the hustle and bustle of the city into this secluded setting in the heart of Manchester. It does however have issues such as crime, anti-social behaviour, and fly tipping, which detract from its good points and make some users feel so vulnerable that they avoid using it.
Respondents told us that their priorities were:
Addressing personal safety and anti-social behaviour
Complimenting the existing habitat and biodiversity
Providing a more open route
Connecting to surrounding neighbourhoods
Revitalising the existing landscape to create more open and less intimidating environment for users.
Upgrading access points to make the entrances prominent and the route accessible, creating a more inviting route to travel along.
Transforming and enhancing open areas to provide places for people to enjoy.
They also raised a number of repeat issues such as poor access, signage and visibility of the route, along with the need to eliminate the public perception of the route being unsafe to travel along because of issues relating to crime and anti-social behaviour.
The poor access points, connectivity, and signage to and from the Fallowfield Loop and Stockport Branch Canal were all raised during the engagement exercise. Users felt that by improving existing access points and creating more would make the route more attractive and potentially reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by providing a “safety in numbers” approach.
Network Rail will start work on improvements to Levenshulme Station this month.
Work is scheduled to start on Monday 28th September and finish on Friday 13th November 2020 with work taking place between 7am and 5pm.
Flooding in the subway under the platforms has been a problem for many years. The inside of the station will be upgraded with new lighting, flooring (a new concrete and resin floor), a new ceiling, cladding and painting.
The work will involve a temporary closure of the subway tunnel so the old Albert Road entrance will be reinstated permanently. This will provide access to platform 1 only until the subway reopens. Access to platform 2 will continue from the existing entrance. Access to both platforms will be available from either side of the tracks once work is completed.
Apart from the reopening of the Albert Road station entrance no other improvements will be done as part of these improvements. Friends of Levenshulme Station continue to campaign for access improvements alongside other local groups such as the LCA, local councillors (Dzidra Noor, Basat Sheikh and Bernard Stone) and our MP (Afzal Khan).
An update on improvements to Levenshulme Station from Afzal Khan MP
Thanks to pressure from Afzal Khan MP together with Levenshulme’s Labour councillors and local campaigners, there is now a start date for work to improve Levenshulme station. For many years, passengers have been subjected to flooding, poor lighting and an overall lack of cleanliness at the station, and it is hoped this work will dramatically improve passenger experience.
Earlier this year, local MP Afzal Khan visited Levenshulme station with representatives from Northern and Network Rail and walked through planned upgrades. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the upgrades due to start in Spring 2020 were significantly delayed. This week, Network Rail informed Mr Khan that works are now due to start in September 2020.
Afzal Khan MP said,
“I am delighted to have a new start date for the work. Levenshulme Station is a critical transport hub for the local community. Community groups, councillors and I have been campaigning for station improvements for many years and I am pleased that our hard work is starting to pay off.”
“Despite this good news, I will be continuing to campaign to make our station accessible for all Levenshulme residents. It was incredibly disappointing that we were not awarded any Access for All funding from the Department for Transport in the last round of bidding, despite submitting a strong bid backed by a great community campaign. The truth is that the Tory Government has not allocated enough money for this work, and at the current rate it will take over fifty years for all of Greater Manchester’s stations to be made accessible.”
Cllr Bernard Stone said,
“Levenshulme’s Labour councillors – Dzidra [Noor] , Basat [Sheikh] and I – welcome the long overdue work being undertaken at Levenshulme Station. Local residents and Councillors have been pushing for this to be done for a long time. It is good to now have a definite start date.”