Gillbent Road was part of Stockport’s first ever Bee Network scheme and comprised of the installation of a sparrow crossing as part of the Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF). The approved scheme included an upgrade of the existing signal-controlled pedestrian crossing.
As part of this plan, they are delivering the UK's largest cycling and walking network. Connecting every area and community in Greater Manchester, making it easy, safe, and attractive for people to travel on foot or by bike for everyday trips. It is TfGM’s vision to have an integrated London-style transport system which will join buses, trams and rail as well as cycling and walking.
The new ‘Sparrow’ crossing is a signal controlled parallel crossing, that keeps pedestrians and cyclists separate as they cross and is one of the first of its kind in the UK.
Plans were issued to us by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council with a commencement of works date only a few weeks post submission. This meant a very quick turnaround required for the likes of pricing, ordering materials and programming.
The main issue experienced during the works was the procurement of materials due to Covid and suppliers supply chain issues. Special materials such as Cycle Demarcation Blocks were on a twelve-week lead time, which could ultimately lead to a delay in the programme and project time scales. Luckily through contacts of SMBC’s lead engineer, the materials were able to be sourced from another project and put a stop to a 3-month delay, which in turn would have increased costs for the client as further temporary works would have been required.
Works were situated by a nearby school and along residential homes therefore it was crucial to always ensure access to the school and driveways. A temporary crossing was supplied during the disconnection of the main crossing lights to allow safe crossing of pedestrians and especially pupils. Constant temporary two-way lights were also put into place as result of narrow working lanes, monitored by permanent traffic management.
Despite the challenges faced with minimal timeframes and procurement of materials, The Gillbent Road crossing is a fine example of how removing the risks posed by junctions can open up a wide range of routes to connect people to the places they want to get to, with confidence. Making crossing the road easy and safe, no matter how you’re travelling, is key to getting people to have a go at walking to the shops, or doing the school run by bike.
Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “This council is passionate about walking and cycling and it is great news that work has now been completed on our first #BeeNetwork route.