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Princess Road 30mph speed limit trial approved

A proposal to reduce the speed limit on Princess Road from 40 to 30mph was approved by Manchester City Council’s Executive on Wednesday 8 February.

The scheme will see the speed limit reduced for the whole 3.7 mile (6km) span of Princess Parkway and Princess Road on an initial trial basis, for 18 months. 

The trial scheme was proposed after a petition launched by local residents requesting the change attracted more than 1,000 signatures.  An analysis of speed and collision data carried out in February 2016 showed that 84 collisions had happened on the road in the previous three years, resulting in two fatalities. 

A public consultation was undertaken in autumn 2016, which recorded strong local support for a speed reduction along the entirety of the route, to help reduce the incidence of collisions, improve safety for pedestrians and encourage more people to cycle.  The consultation also recorded concerns that slower traffic speeds could increase congestion and impact on journey times for commuters and public transport users.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the speed limit change will be carried out for the first 12 months, allowing for a period of review before a final decision is made on whether to make the change permanent at the end of the 18-month trial.  

The council will work closely with Greater Manchester Police and the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership, to ensure appropriate enforcement measures are undertaken across the route. 

Other safety measures will be implemented alongside the speed reduction, including increasing the green frequency of the pedestrian crossing at Darley Avenue and a redesign of the Barlow Moor slip road.

Sam MacWilliam, from Chorlton, helped to set up the petition calling for the change.  She said: “The petition was incredibly popular and we found that local people were very keen to sign it.  

“We were motivated by how dangerous the road is, particularly for pedestrians, but also for car drivers.  There have been regular collisions and two people have been killed.  

“The road is very important for people coming into the city, but they need to understand that they are coming off the motorway and into an area where people live.  There are schools and churches here.  

“Some parts of this stretch of road are already limited to 30mph, so all this would do is harmonise that, to make the area safer for everyone.”

Executive Member for the Environment, Councillor Rosa Battle, said: “We have listened to the serious concerns raised by residents about road safety in their area and studied all of the data available before suggesting this trial scheme. 

“Using a temporary order to reduce the speed limit on Princess Road and Princess Parkway to 30mph will allow us to fully review the effects of the change to ensure that it meets our goals of making the area safer for residents, while keeping traffic moving on one of Manchester’s key routes.”