Last night I was unfortunate enough to sit through the most ill-advised public transport presentation I have ever seen. The Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company presented their Draft Integrated Transport Strategy to the residents of Claremont & Weaste. I attended this meeting as I live on the border of the Lanworthy ward and the Claremont & Weaste ward – which means I have a vested interest in both areas.
The plan was presented by the URC (Urban Regeneration Company), supported by Urban Vision who would have the unenviable task of putting this plan into practice – not that it is ever likely to see the light of day.
The main points of the plan were to provide direct transport links to Salford Quays/media:city from outside the area (from such locations as Bury, Bolton, Manchester etc) without having to come “into” Central Salford first.
The URC’s “grand plan” was to create grid-lock hell for those continuing to use their cars. They propose a whole host of new cycle lanes (thereby narrowing existing roads), 20mph traffic calming, using such obstacles as speed bumps and other road-narrowing measures. They then provided several ‘vague’ Powerpoint slides which showed proposed cycle routes and bus/metrolink ‘corridors’.
I think the members of the Claremont & Weaste community committee were extremely bemused by these proposals, since the majority of the attendees last night were what might be classed as Senior Citizens. I doubt many of them are capable of cycling the 3 miles in 10 minutes that the URC claimed was one of the aims of the plan.
Further, it was obvious that unless you live within a couple of minutes walk of Langworthy Road, you will be completely cut off from the new transport links. The only thing Claremont & Weaste will receive in return is streets packed with cars as visitors drive in, drop their cars and use public transport to complete their journey – thereby saving on expensive car parking costs at their destination.
The only saving grace was when the chairperson asked the URC representative what the timescale for this was, we received a cough and a splutter and were then informed the plan could encompass some 20 years.
While I will still be around in 20 years time, I doubt the majority of the committee will be!
After the ludicrous TIF bid, why am I amazed that yet another ridiculous and ill-conceived ‘transport plan’ has been presented for public consultation? I urge all Salford residents to try and make it to a community meeting near you and see these ‘plans’ for yourself. It is also an excellent opportunity to have your say. I will be having mine at the Ordsall & Langworthy Community Meeting on Thursday 12th February, if the URC decide to present this plan again.