The Council and democracy Questions to The Executive

Questions to The Executive for 2022

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, was asked a question by Sophie Hallworth:

Bridge Street and John Dalton Street in Manchester has illegal levels of air pollution. These streets are served by a large number of bus services, all of which are provided by vehicles powered, at least in part, by diesel.

Stagecoach uses electric vehicles on services elsewhere in the city and TfGM have a degree of control over the vehicles used on the Vantage guided busway services.

Can Manchester City Council, working with partners if necessary, demand that electric vehicles are used on more of the city's bus services, and in particular those serving Bridge Street and John Dalton Street, to contribute towards improving the air quality on these busy, city centre roads.

Councillor Tracey Rawlins replied:

Thank you for your question.

We are working with TfGM on prioritising routes and 50 new electric buses that will be delivered as part of Franchising Tranche 1 on 17 September 2023. The Tranche 1 services include those from depots in Bolton and Wigan that form the majority of buses using Bridge Street/John Dalton Street.

Where practical due to route length/operational constraints, electric buses will be prioritised on the Bridge St/John Dalton Street route to improve air quality in the area.”

21 September 2022.


Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, was asked a question:

I'd like to know why the cycle ops junctions at Stretford Road/Chorlton Road is different to the layout at Royce Road/Chorlton Road?  It's not as easy to go through the main lights and return to the cycle lane as it is at the next lights.  This means I end up in the main carriageway when the lights are green, to the unreasonable annoyance of drivers.

I'd also like to know why many parts flood so easily and the surface is so uneven?

Finally, I'd like to know how often you plan to sweep these cycle lanes as they have been full of detritus for a while now?

Councillor Tracey Rawlins replied:

The Royce Road / Chorlton Road Cyclops junction was the first of its kind to be built in the UK.  Part of the design included both on road advance stop lines for cyclists to turn right with traffic, and segregating cycle tracks with separate staging to traffic.  Some criticism was raised that providing the advance stop lines suggested that turning with traffic was a safe option.  Whilst most confident cyclists would be happy with this, the intention of the design is that it is suitable for all abilities. The later Stretford Road junction design has therefore guided cyclists to use the segregated staged facilities for cyclists.  Monitoring of the use of such facilities is being undertaken and will continue for 12 months to establish which version of the designs are most effective. This includes other versions of the junction designed outside Manchester which will help with development of further junctions; several of which are already under construction.

Drainage was not originally in the scope of the Chorlton scheme as it wasn’t deemed necessary.  What was learned from the initially constructed sections at the Manchester end confirmed that repairs have been necessary at certain locations resulting in further works being built on site.  Due to the constraints of the site(s) and the fact that the road is an existing carriageway, with many new features needing to fit with the previous profile, the surface has had to match the underlying conditions even when machine laid.  However, the works have been carried out by competent contractors working to approved drawings.

The cleansing of the cycle lanes is carried out by Biffa who have confirmed that the cycle tracks on Chorlton Road are swept every Friday although this will not include sections that are located within the Trafford borough or areas that are currently under construction on Upper Chorlton Road.

1 August 2022.


Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, was asked a question by Tom Haines-Doran:

On 24 June, residents received a letter informing them of the moving of a traffic filter on Manor Road.

The letter states: "Once the filter has been moved to the new location, the impact on the area will be monitored, and if there are issues, additional mitigating measures may be looked in to".

Please advise me:

1. What kind of monitoring is the council planning?

2. What kind of mitigating measures the council has in mind?

3. What the funding source for monitoring and mitigating measures will be?

Thanks for your help.

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, replied:

Thank you for your questions, which I will reply to separately, below.

1. Methods of monitoring modelling/count data pre and post changes.

An area wide traffic model is being produced to look at the impacts to the various phases of scheme development and establish where traffic is likely to be re-routed and if additional mitigation measures will need to be considered for these locations based on this evidence. This will be considered alongside information from traffic counts in the area comparing before and after traffic and speeds data alongside comments received from residents and local businesses.

In terms of longer-term monitoring of the scheme benefits, the City Council are currently devising an appropriate Monitoring and Evaluation plan for the Levenshulme and Burnage active Neighbourhood scheme. Whilst this work is still ongoing and has not yet been finalised, the likely activities are detailed below.

For a period of two years after the scheme has been delivered, continuous traffic counts will be undertaken in key locations in the neighbourhood. This will track the volume of mechanised traffic such as cars and vans, along with pedestrians, and cyclists. The location of where the counts will take place has yet to be determined but will be placed where there is the greatest potential for rerouting of traffic due to the introduction of modal filters.

Air Quality monitors will also be in operation in the neighbourhood area for a period of two years after the scheme delivery. Whilst the type of monitors to be used has not yet been determined, it is likely they will measure concentrations of various nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. Anonymised data will be used to determine average traffic speeds in the scheme location. Traffic speed on Manor Rd along with other areas has been collected in support of the business case and will continue to be monitored post scheme delivery. Additionally, logged accident data will be monitored post scheme delivery.

Summary of Impact of Phase 1 of the scheme can also be found on the Manchester City Council Website - Levenshulme and Burnage - Low Traffic Neighbourhood consultation next phase.

2. What kind of mitigating measures the council has in mind.

Proposed mitigation measures will be dependent on the monitoring data received and evidence based.

3. What the funding source for monitoring and mitigating measures will be.

Funding for pre and post monitoring of the scheme will be included as part of the project costs. Any additional works recommended following the implementation of the scheme and its impacts based on evidence from monitoring will be considered, as part of a separate package of mitigation measures. For this we would seek additional funding.

27 July 2022.


Councill Bev Craig, The Leader, was asked a question by Suzanne:

Could the twinning with the mainland Chinese city of Wuhan be rethought? With the current influx of Hong Kong people who need our help, it seems insensitive and out of date to support a place that is diametrically opposed to the democracy that we enjoy in Manchester. Can the twinning be ended?    

Councillor Bev Craig replied:

Thank you for your question about Manchester's relationship with our sister city Wuhan which dates back to 1986. The relationship is built on people to people exchanges and there have been many positive projects and exchanges between the people of both cities over the last 36 years in fields such as sport, culture and education. The Council undertakes periodic reviews of our sister city relationships and regularly takes advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office to ensure we are aligned with HM Government. At present there are no plans to end the relationship with Wuhan and we are focused on delivering our latest two year action plan which was signed in 2021. 

Manchester is proud to be welcoming people from Hong Kong through the British National (Overseas) visa scheme and the Council also hosts the North West Welcome Hub which supports new arrivals to settle and integrate into the city.

25 July 2022.


 

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Deputy Leader, was asked the following question:

We would like to use the 'get rid of a large unwanted item' service, however the system said 'no available appointments in your area', since 01/04/2022. Now I cannot login due to 'Server Error in /Sales' application.  Runtime Error.  Description: An exception occurred while processing your request. Additionally, another exception occurred while executing the custom error page for the first exception. The request has been terminated'.

Would you please tell us what's going on? Would it be fixed soon? If not, could we make an appointment via phone instead, please?

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, replied:

I am sorry to hear you were receiving an error "'Server Error in '/Sales' Application Runtime Error" when trying to book your large unwanted item collection.  The issue has been raised with our supplier who has now resolved the issue.  Manchester City Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.

8 April 2022.


Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, was asked a question:

With the recent changes to the highway code, what steps have the council taken to make sure it's staff, taxi, private hire drivers and contractors understand these changes?

Councillor Tracey Rawlins replied:

The Highway Code changes were launched by the government in January and were followed by a national raising awareness media campaign that is continuing.  There are no plans to supplement the government national media campaign by the Council.

18 March 2022.


Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, was asked a question by R Riaz:

Hi, When would Manchester City Council implement traffic calming measures on Bowes Street connecting Claremont Road, Rosebery Street, Cowesby Street, Harrington Street and Caythorpe Street.

Councillor Tracey Rawlins replied: 

The traffic calming works on Bowes Street are being carried out in connection with the development of the former bus depot site and therefore the timescale is dependent on the developer's programme of works.

As this work is not being managed by the Council, I am afraid we cannot provide you with the time scales you are asking for. The developer has informed us that before traffic calming works can be undertaken, they must first complete utility and drainage works to the satisfaction of the utilities companies. The developer and United Utilities are current liaising over the drainage connections and once this is completed and approved can the traffic calming works commence but unfortunately no dates have provided for these activities. 

10 March 2022.


Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment was asked a question by Tom Haines-Doran who lives in Manchester:

In September last year I asked:

"In Manchester City Council's Active Neighbourhood schemes, are you committed to ensure that they provide new safe walking and cycling routes between community amenities, and that link to current and future intra-city and intra-regional Bee Network routes?"

Councillor Tracey Rawlins replied:

"Yes, Manchester City Council is committed to ensure that where possible we will endeavour to provide safer walking and cycling routes between community amenities, and that link to current and future intra-city and intra-regional Bee Network routes. This also requires us to comply with the scope of each project and the funding made available."

Since then, Manchester City Council have published plans for consultation for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood, which clearly do not meet these specifications. May I ask why Manchester City Council's policy on Active Neighbourhood scheme's active travel connectivity appears to have changed? For example, lack of filtering on Crayfield Road means that there will continue to be unsafe access to the Fallowfield Loop - another Bee Network project.

Councillor Tracey Rawlins replied:

Thank you for your comments regarding proposed measures on Clayfield Road as part of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme.

As we said previously we are committed to ensure that "where possible we will endeavour" to provide safer walking and cycling routes between community amenities, and that link to current and future intra-city and intra-regional Bee Network routes.

The current proposals within this project and particularly for Clayfield Road are the introduction of a flat top road hump to reduce vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian and cycling crossing access towards the Fallowfield Loop are also mirrored on the Marley Avenue side of the Fallowfield loop, via Kersh Avenue. We're also looking at introducing raised side road crossing at the junction with Broom Lane.

These are part of a number of proposals within the area which also include and link with and across Broom Lane, which has previously not been included with proposals for the wider active travel scheme, which has been raised as a concern by residents and businesses of Broom Lane previously.

Responses to the recent consultation have shown a majority feel the current proposals for Clayfield Road / Marley Avenue will have a positive or very positive impact.

25 February 2022.

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