Link High Lane, Middlewood Way and the A555 with a safe cycle route

Link High Lane, Middlewood Way and the A555 with a safe cycle route

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Peaks & Puddles started this petition to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

The 10 mile Middlewood Way and the 7.5 mile A555 cycle path are separated by just 0.3 miles of the hostile, dangerous A6 road with increasingly heavy traffic, while the traffic-strangled village of High Lane lies just a further 0.4 miles away with no safe or appetising cycle link to either. This needs to change.

Plans for the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road explicitly stated that the new road's shared cycle path should be linked to Middlewood Way. This was intended to be via a (less than ideal) widened shared pavement alongside the A6, which was designed, funded and approved for completion in late 2017 before apparently being rejected by Marple Area Committee. Meanwhile, plans for a single poor quality painted cycle lane through High Lane (eastbound only, suddenly disappearing numerous times for on-street parking, junctions and islands) were rightly rejected by all concerned.

Yet two years later in 2020, Stockport Council admitted it had made no progress in coming up with an alternative design for a true A6 cycle route linking two of its major cycling assets and one of its most polluted residential areas. In October 2019 there was a glimmer of hope as it was revealed that a high quality 2.5 mile "Bramhall Park to A6" cycle route being proposed as part of Greater Manchester's Bee Network would eventually form a Stockport West-East cycle route, with the intention to extend it to High Lane. This has now been completed, but there’s still no progress on a link to High Lane, four years after it should’ve been in place. We need to show the council how much demand is there.

The A555, Middlewood Way and High Lane have now lacked their promised cycle links for over four years while traffic on the A6 continues to increase, particularly with more heavy lorries. People are being forced to put themselves at danger daily (or “illegally” cycle the terrible, narrow pavements) just to make these short connections by bike. There is no appetising alternative to driving for private journeys, only adding to the traffic on the A6. A cycleway here would mark a step-change in the accessibility, sustainability and wellbeing of the entire wider area, bridging a massive (but technically very small) gap in the entire region’s cycle network.

We are therefore calling for Stockport Council to complete its eastern cycleway link from the A555 to High Lane as a matter of urgent priority.

As with the planned Bramhall Park scheme, this would best be delivered as a properly segregated two-way cycle-only path, directly parallel to the A6 as much as possible or using the most direct route possible. It must become the quickest, safest and most logical choice for cyclists of all abilities, with a solid surface, lighting if needed and priority given to cycles at minor road crossings as per the Bee Network guidelines. The council should also work with Cheshire East and Derbyshire to ensure this forms the start of a safe, joined-up route for cycle journeys right along the A6 corridor, reducing the burden of traffic through High Lane even further.

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