Manchester City Council has announced today that there will be another consultation on final plans for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme. This follows the release of three sets of “final plans” over a year ago and one “final consultation”. The news release says:
“A consultation will soon take place on a proposal to include an additional crossing on the A6, expanding the provision of high-quality and safer walking and cycling routes, with the intention being that local people are better connected by safer walking, wheeling, and cycling routes with local shops and facilities.”MCC news release, 12 july 2023
This would be helpful after well over a year of silence on the scheme from the council and councillors. The only works undertaken so far have been in Burnage Ward on Errwood Road and the installation of the permanent versions of the 14 modal filters / road blocks across Levenshulme Ward. Sadly the filters do not include any trees in the concrete blocks as was originally promised. There is still no news on the proposed modal filters / road blocks on Linden Park and Milwain Road.
The council says the latest “final plans” will cost £7 million:
“The cost, estimated at £7m in total, is likely to be split between MCC and GMCA. The proposed solution will allow the successful delivery of this project as part of the Bee Network in the local area as well as allowing specific Council-led design choices that respond to public consultation feedback.”MCC news release, 12 july 2023
This is over 300% more than the original budget of £2.3 million. In 2022 Levenshulme councillor Basat Sheikh said the cost for the scheme had increased to £4.6 million. The vast majority of the funding was originally from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund using money provided by the government and included a contribution from Manchester City Council of £100,000. The council has not said how much of the new proposed £7 million cost will come from Manchester City Council.
The original proposals included significantly more than last year’s “final plans” proposed so it will be interesting to see what the new “final plans” include and whether any more of what the Council and the now defunct Levenshulme Bee Network had promised has been reinstated. Levenshulme Councillors have recently said that the Council will not install any more modal filters / road blocks.
Levenshulme Community Association has consistently supported the idea of an Active Neighbourhood and made positive proposals throughout the several years of this project. If the new “final plans” include improvements to pavements and crossings and cycle routes that actually connect across and outside the area as this announcement suggests then that will be a big improvement on the previous “final plans” that only included one cycle lane that ran half way along Matthews Lane and did not connect to anything at either end. Pavement and accessibility improvements were also previously limited to only a handful of roads in the area.
The LCA will continue to provide further updates as information becomes available.
Manchester Evening News also has an article on the latest announcement from Manchester City Council.
The council news item is HERE
The MEN article is HERE