Kingsway junction roundabout – what happens next?

by Iain Roberts on 8 June, 2018

The Lib Dem team have been reporting on the consultation for transport infrastructure across Stockport and north-east Cheshire. That includes proposals for a roundabout at the Gatley lights junction, new stations for Cheadle and Stanley Green and a Bus Rapid Transit system running alongside the A34.

You can see the details and fill in an online survey  – the consultation closes on 2nd July 2018.

We’re very grateful for everyone’s comments, which have fed into what we’ve been doing and we’ll reflect in our submission.

People have asked us whether these proposals are now set in stone – and we’ve been trying to find out.

We’ve been told that the proposals are not final. In particular, the plan for a roundabout at the Kingsway Junction is not the one-and-only option at this stage. If it goes into the plan the Council will really be saying “We need to sort this junction out. Right now this is our top option, but there’s still a lot of work do to and the option might change.”

The Lib Dems have raised several questions around the junction that we think need to be answered:

  • Why can’t we have a right filter running from both the Cheadle & Gatley sides at the same time, taking time off the East-West movement? We’ve long been told it’s a safety issue, but we need more information than that.
  • Would a roundabout be able to deal with projected traffic levels over the next 20 years? (So far no modelling has been done on the junction with this option, just general modelling on wider traffic flows across the area).
  • What other options are there (e.g. overpass/underpass)?
  • How much would the different options cost? (This is important as an option that’s much more expensive is unlikely to ever get funding, and there’s little point having some perfect solution that no-one can ever afford to build).
  • How would the solution help pedestrians and cyclists?
  • Which buildings would need to be demolished for each solution?

There will be other questions as well. We are still some way from anything happening – these things take time! We are also looking at some suggestions residents have raised with us like having red-light cameras on the Cheadle/Gatley sides.

 

   26 Comments

26 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    As I see it any solution that involves new structures – such as flyovers, underpasses and roundabouts – will be met with a plethora of objections from local residents (who would want a flyover as a view from your window?).

    The best solution therefore would appear to be right-turn filters which would probably only involve minor repositioning of some of the lights.

    • DR C says:

      Only an underpass for Kingsway will suffice long term.
      As for those who were daft enough to purchase a property overlooking a major road – tough!
      You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs!!

    • John in Gatley says:

      Bruce. I can’t see short-term thinking solving this. A plethora of objections from local residents always happens when big changes are required. They have to be managed.
      Need to look at what’s causing this problem i.e. reasons for the amount of traffic on the A34. More and more housing being built and more planned along it’s corridor and catchment area. No incentive for decentralisation of employment/businesses out of the city centre area – eg like Alderley Park. Poor or no alternatives to car transport all along the A34 corridor. Etc.

  2. Alan says:

    Agree, although it’s been ignored by those in charge they’ve never come up with a good reason for it not to happen. Funnily enough those of us with common sense believe it would work

  3. Robert Cohen says:

    Surely it would make sense to actually TRY the filter system – rather than spending many millions from what is not a bottomless pit – to see if it will or will not work. “Trial and error” has enabled many facets of life to move forward. This has been a hot topic of conversation throughout the area and it seems that all those I have been chatting to (and who actually drive a car/van etc) want to try the filter system. So let’s try it!

  4. Stewart Bale says:

    As far as a round- about is concerned I would suggest one looks at the round- about they have installed in the centre of Poynton .The queues there are endless .Far worse than it ever was with the traffic lights .I agree let us try the filters if we can

  5. Jennifer says:

    I agree with those who say that trying a right filter may be the answer, so let’s do it. If it doesn’t work, then we’ll have to think again.

  6. Gary says:

    As I understand it – the safety issue is getting traffic off the M60 quickly , from Stockport , so there are no dangerous queues of traffic actually on the M60. The pull off lanes there are very short and give priority to the traffic from Trafford park. Surely a simple and cost effective option would be give more priority to the Stockport traffic? Give it a dedicated lane until under the railway bridge, then allow cars to change lanes. Today the scrum of cars changing lanes , on the slip road, is what is causing the backup of traffic onto the M60.

    Solve that and you could have a right turn at Gatley lights.

  7. Jennifer says:

    P.S. As things stand cars from Cheadle wanting to turn right often cannot move until the lights turn to red for the East/West traffic; what is so wonderfully safe about that?

  8. Les says:

    Try the filters. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  9. Andrew Ashworth says:

    After considering the proposal, I believe that the best solution is to leave the junction as it is.

    The current levels of disruption and the increased disruption anticipated by the Barnes Hospital development, might actually encourage people to use other forms of transport. Any improvement to the junction could potentially increase traffic and may just shift the problem elsewhere – to the Kingway and Handforth Dean junctions or to the M60,

    If the disruption caused by road improvements at Handforth Dean is anything to go by, then the proposal, in my opinion is simply not worth progressing.

    The money would be better spent on schemes to encourage people to use alternative forms of transport,. Maybe look at providing more school buses. And/or making further improvements to Cheadle and Gatley villages.

    Doing nothing is often the best alternative and is certainly worth consideration.

    Regards

    Andrew

    With new driverless eco vehicles on the horizon, and developments to the junction may prove redundant within a relatively short time period.

  10. Robert Cohen says:

    Don’t rely on the driverless vehicle/eco option just yet. There have been (relatively) too many incidents with them, not to mention the electrical safety issues that ALL cars may suffer (BMW recently is just one such case). There is also the huge number of discourteous driver who don’t let cars filter or change lanes which is also a hindrance.

    The Barnes development is just another nightmare bringing countless more vehicles into the area – something that want properly thought through either.

    Try the filter. It’s the most sensible and least disruptive option.

    • bruce says:

      Robert – I totally agree with regarding Barnes. All that extra traffic will really exacerbate the problems we all suffer now.

      Iain – what have you got to say about Barnes – you never seem to mention it nowadays although it was the Lib dems who sanctioned this development?

  11. paul smith says:

    Any major work must involve an underpass north south as part of the proposals. The problem is the available space either side. Ideally you want two lanes in both directions in the underpass, but there might not be enough space left to have a third lane to join/exit the junction in all 4 directions without major cpo and demolishing of a number of houses.

  12. Ganesh says:

    Right turn filters are cheaper and better. If doesn’t work then round about. Under pass and over pass would be expensive and might be objected by the residents

  13. Dan says:

    Most people seem to agree that spending money to allow more cars to use the junction is not a great idea. The money would be better spent on increasing cycle and walking infrastructure and on public transport.

  14. Peter Rowley says:

    I could not agree more with Andrew. Perhaps filter might help a bit so I agree with everybody else on that point let’s give it a go.

    We live on Gatley Road on the Cheadle side so have a clear view of the traffic levels on our side. There seems to be a direct correlation with how the traffic is flowing on the M60. When there is a problem on the M60 and there often is, drivers use the Gatley Road route as an alternative route. Surley there is a danger of the overall number of vehicles increasing if improvements to the A34 junction are made. If the M60 upgrade road works are going to go on for a couple of years the likelihood of drivers trying to find another route will continue for that time as well.
    As well as the filter if the High Grove rat run can be sorted that would also assist the traffic flow as well.

  15. Judith says:

    Iain where are you this weekend? You are usually ready with a response, especially when there is a lot comment on your blog. The general consensus is for the minimal amount of intervention as a start i.e. changing the filters before spending huge amounts of money which no one can afford on an idea that may not work anyway.

  16. Di says:

    The only way traffic is going to be reduced is for traffic to join M60 elsewhere. Ie open up new bypass to Bredbury (& work with the swampies of Goyt) And a train station in Cheadle is a hopeless idea. The 2 obvious locations have been built on (the Alex car park & the builders yard). Given the recent chaos in using trains recently anyway, can anyone see that one track line being run commercially?

  17. Sue Fensome says:

    Another vote here for trying the filters. Surely they can be timed so that at busy periods, a longer time is allowed for traffic exiting the M60

  18. Iain Roberts says:

    Many thanks for the comments. Re: Judith’s question of where I’ve been all day, we occasionally allow councillors a Sunday off 🙂 I’ve spent the day helping at a basketball tournament.

    Please feed your comments into the consultation.

    We have tried pushing for right filters over several years, had the studies done etc. etc. It’s not our decision and to date the people who *can* make the decision have always said no. We’ve even been out on site to test the theory that a drop of just a few seconds in the north/south time would affect queues. We tried it. It would.

    We’ve also spent the last ten years getting small improvements. They’ve stopped the junction getting even worse as traffic has improved, but they’re not the long-term fix. Any more that we can do, we will.

    Please feed your comments into the consultation. We will take them on board for our formal response too. Hopefully we can make further progress to build on what’s already been achieved.

  19. John in Gatley says:

    Our comments to Iain’s 28 May ‘A roundabout for the Kingsway junction? Have your say ‘ are, i think, very relevant to the posts below and to this debate, so i’ve copied the link to it >
    https://cheadleandgatley.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/05/28/a-roundabout-for-the-kingsway-junction-have-your-say/#comment-7117

  20. David Shonfield says:

    My recollection from about 20 years ago is that the Highways Agency have different grade of junctions design depending on volume of traffic / peak use per day. Has the HA been consulted about grade of junction they would recommend given traffic volume. Surely that would be the practical starting point

  21. Paul Fitzpatrick says:

    I have lived in Gatley for more than 40 years and at least half of that time has been spent sitting in a car waiting for those damned lights to change to green! The obvious and, I would guess, cheapest, option are the filters. It is bureaucracy of the most bone-headed type which has so far resisted this glaringly obvious solution. Filters might not solve all the problems of this horrendous junction, but would definitely improve things.

  22. David Johnson says:

    There is no long-term solution at the junction. Filters/changed priorities/altered flows in subsidiary roads can only be very small improvements. Even in the short term traffic volumes will grow! Witness local residential areas e.g. St. Ann’s Road now allowing scheduled bus services although crammed with legally freely parked cars for workers in the nearby office blocks who avoid car parks by their offices because of access queues through the A34 roundabout.

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