The consultation around the Victoria North and Eastern Gateway Scheme attracted 1146 visitors and 246 individual respondents.
Overall, 48% of people who responded were positive about the proposals, and 41% were negative.
Most of the negative responses were about the route through the marina – this section received the largest number of responses, many of which were negative. As part of the consultation, an alternative cycle route on Weybridge Road was suggested, although feedback in the online events suggested that some people did not notice this on the map used as part of the consultation.
When comments about the marina were removed, the overall sentiment of the scheme increases in positivity to 55% vs. 36% negative.
The second most commented on individual scheme location was ‘Redhill St / Bengal St’, which had a majority of positive comments. Respondents approved of the crossing and the modal filter, whilst suggesting improving the infrastructure and installing traffic calming measures.
Many people made open text responses, and the most frequent was concern around pedestrians and cyclists mixing.
Overall respondents believed the scheme would have a positive impact on all groups, with 55% agreeing there would be a positive impact for ‘Local residents’ (the largest share of positive responses). When filtered by location, the ‘Route through the marina’ had 85% negative responses, whereas ‘Redhill St / Bengal St’ had 97% positive responses. Respondents believes the scheme would have a positive result on ‘Air Quality’ (94%), though 67% believed it would have a negative impact on ‘creating more green spaces’. The ‘Safety of pedestrians and cyclists’ had the most responses, with the majority believing there would be a positive impact (59% positive vs. 41% negative).
When asked if the proposed changes will make it more or less likely that ‘you and your family’ will walk or cycle more in the area, the majority answered that they would be ‘More likely’ or ‘Much more likely’ for both walking (46%) and cycling (44%).
You said…we did (or if not, why not)
You said you had concerns about safety of cyclist and pedestrians using the marina. As a result, there will be an alternative route running along Weybridge road which will be clearly signposted to encourage cyclists to use this option if not going to a destination in the Marina. Additionally, further design and modelling work is underway to see what other options can be used to help make Weybridge road better for cyclists.
Some people were also concerned about pedestrians and cyclists mixing, especially with regard to the safety of visually impaired people. We are continuing to work with Highways Access group to develop a design that is as inclusive as possible. A road safety audit is planned, to assess the ‘cyclops’
(cycle optimised) junction already installed at Royce Road, and once Covid restrictions are reduced, we plan to have a site visit with the Highways Access group and design team to review issues and look at improvements.
Some people said that the cycle route should go along Great Ancoats Street. However, the aim of this route is to help link key areas that people are already using such as tram stop, marina, Cutting Room Square and emerging areas in Victoria North. By creating safe ways to cross busy roads and severance points like the Ashton canal, it will help encourage more walking and cycling in all age groups, away from busier roads where possible.
Some people commented that the overall route should be more direct. However, the route has been designed to link key parts of the New Islington/Ancoats neighbourhoods, enabling people to move safely through those areas, rather than as a rapid ‘commuter’ route.
Some people asked how the route would connect to others. The route is designed so that it links to the new Rochdale Canal route and to the Etihad Campus active travel route. A comprehensive signage package is being developed to compliment the design and ensure that links to current routes are clearly shown, and also new routes as they are created.
Concerns were raised that the original proposals would block access to Murray Mill, so the planned closure point has now been moved to allow full access to Murray Mill.