RIDICULOUS: Town hall bosses defend new junction
New junction at Bridge Lane and Valley Road, Image: LDRS
Town hall bosses have defended a ‘ridiculous’ junction that forms part of a new cycling route after claims it could endanger both motorists and riders.
The road layout means that cars turning from Bridge Lane into Valley Road, in Bramhall, almost immediately hit another set of give way lines.
Critics believe this will mean an increase in rear-end shunts and puts cyclists at risk as motorists may not be expecting to have to brake again so soon.
The junction is part of the Bramhall Park to A6 Mayor’s Challenge Fund schme given the green light last year.
And Stockport council chiefs say the aim is to improve life for pedestrians and cyclists along the route – including giving them priority when crossing side roads.
Bosses point out this is in accordance with government guidance, which will be reflected in the revised Highway Code due to come into force next year.
One Bramhall resident who is not convinced, however, is Robert Ridley, who became a driving instructor after retiring from a 32-year-career in journalism.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I live very close and it struck me as being the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen.
“While I realise there’s a move towards (priority) for cars turning in there, you have not even turned a car’s length before you hit the give way.”
He believes any driver following another car into the junction is ‘almost certainly going to rear-end them’.
And while Mr Ridley acknowledges this may reflect the incoming changes to the Highway Code, his concerns over road-user safety remain.
“I think that’s potentially dangerous and I would be amazed if there are no accidents there,” he added.
Bramhall North councillor Linda Holt says she is aware of the concerns – and says the situation will need to be monitored.
“I am supportive of active travel, but I still do have issues with the practical layout when it’s not appropriate or if it could be problematic or dangerous for either party,” she said.
“The thing is, that junction at the minute, it looks like it could be difficult for cyclists as well as motorists.
“I think it’s a bit of a funny one – it’s trying to find a way different road users can share the space without either one being exposed to risk or more danger.”
Coun Holt says local councillors will be keeping a close eye on things, but stresses the town hall has been responsive when issues have arisen in the past.
”If things aren’t working out they should be changed – safety is my paramount concern for road users,” she added.
A spokesperson for Stockport council said: “The new layout of the junction of Valley Road and Bridge Lane is part of our ‘Bramhall Park to A6’ Mayor’s Challenge Fund Scheme, which was approved by members in 2020, following a period of consultation in Autumn 2019.
“The completed scheme will improve pedestrian and cycle facilities along this route.
“The new layout is consistent with the entire ‘Bramhall Park to A6 scheme’, which includes giving pedestrians and cyclists priority when crossing at side roads.
“This is in accordance with central government design guidance, which will be reflected in the revised Highway Code that is due to come into force in early 2022.
“To assist residents and motorists in the borough on these new changes, we will issue guidance, provide information and carry out local engagement with residents, cyclists and road users, so they are able to understand the changes that have been made.”
Words: Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
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