“If you’re wandering round Levy tomorrow, you might like to pop down and take a look at some of the stuff I’ve been painting in lockdown. You can find me on the grassy knoll behind the Crayfield Road entrance to the cycle path – just round the corner from the Antiques Village. Look forward to seeing you.“
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.
Manchester City Council has been allocated funding from the (Greater Manchester) Mayor’s Challenge Funding (MCF) to improve the Fallowfield Loop. Funding will go towards cycling and walking improvements to help the public safely make essential trips by walking, cycling and other active modes of travel. Measures that are already being looked at include:
Providing Street Lighting along the route.
Introduce more litter bins and seating areas.
Widening the route to 3 metres or more.
Introduce new areas of public realm for everyone to enjoy.
The Fallowfield Loop proposals are the latest of Manchester’s Bee Network proposals to be developed and the Council is asking for feedback to help determine the details of the plan.
£4.9 million investment announced for the Fallowfield Loop
Fallowfield Loop enhancements (£4.9m) This scheme will create a 24/7, orbital cycle and walking route connecting Chorlton to Gorton. It is proposed to introduce new lighting and to improve access points along this 12km, traffic-free cycle path.