There are just two weeks left for Cheshire East residents to comment on the proposed refresh of transport plans for the north of the borough.
Cheshire East Council and Stockport Council have extended the deadline for residents and businesses to have their say on the transport and highways proposals designed to make travel between Greater Manchester and Cheshire East a whole lot smoother.
Known as Semmms, the South East Manchester Multi-Modal Strategy seeks to make all forms of travel – whether by car, bus, rail, bike or on foot – a more pleasurable and less stressful experience for the public.
The strategy sets out plans for continuing infrastructure development up until 2040, across the boundaries of south Manchester, north east Cheshire and Stockport – one of the busiest commuter belts in the region.
Amongst the recommendations is a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service which would operate routes from Wilmslow to Manchester Airport and Wilmslow to East Didsbury Metrolink.
The Strategy recommends three new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services. These would broadly operate:
• Stockport - Hazel Grove - Bramhall - Woodford - Handforth - Stanley Green – Heald Green – Manchester Airport.
• Wilmslow - Handforth - Stanley Green – Heald Green – Manchester Airport
• Wilmslow - Handforth - - Stanley Green - Cheadle - East Didsbury Metrolink stop.
The detail of these routes is currently being developed through a study commissioned by TfGM along with local authorities. It is hoped that the Wilmslow services could also have the potential to be extended to Macclesfield in the future.
To support the effective operation of these services, it is recommended that new bus priority is introduced in the following areas:
• New offline bus only link between Woodford and Handforth.
• New offline bus only link between Stanley Green and Bruntwood Park.
• On-street bus priority on the A34, northbound from its junctions with Wilmslow Road.
• Bus priority on the southbound A34 slip road at its junctions with Wilmslow Road.
As well as the new BRT service, it is being recommended that the case is developed for new rail stations at Stanley Green and Cheadle.
Whilst recommendations for walking and cycling schemes may include:
• Completing the Wilmslow to Manchester Airport cycle route.
• Local route improvements for access in and around Wilmslow and Macclesfield.
• New routes connecting Alderley Park and Waters to Wilmslow Rail Station.
The plan looks ahead to 2040, however some actions which have been identified as important for development and implementation in the short term, to bring benefits immediately.
These include increasing car parking and park and ride facilities at selected rail stations including Wilmslow, Handforth, Heald Green, Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme, Marple, Gatley and Macclesfield stations.
Other short term projects include improvements to routes in and around Wilmslow - to the rail station, key employment sites and education sites - and the completion of a fully signed Wilmslow to Manchester Airport cycleway, using on and off-street routes.
Whilst each of the projects identified is seen as important, this consultation does not give a green light for work to begin on any of them. Each project will be subject to its own consultation as it progresses and business cases are developed.
Residents are able to have their say online at www.semmms.info by Monday 16th July.