Active Gorse Hill

In addition to the civic quarter masterplan we’ve got a couple more reports going to executive next week with special pertinence to Gorse Hill ward.

GM Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund – Update (External Pdf)

The report details what we’ve done so far:

  • additional work on the Stretford cycleway (Talbot Road / Stretford Road)

Programme Entry status for

  • Talbot Rd/Greatstone Rd Junction
  • A56 Talbot Rd Junction

Programme Entry status means that Trafford is encouraged to work up plans and that the Mayor’s team would want to support a scheme that’s workable and cost effective. It gives them a slight get out clause and no funds are transferred but I personally would hope the business case is so strong that these will become reality.

The next scheme in the pipeline is described as:

  • Dedicated Cycle and walking link from Moss Road to Wharfside, Trafford Park

I want to stress that this is the complete Trafford list, it’s not a selection for a Gorse Hill Ward readership. I’m quite proud that every single scheme has had benefits for Gorse Hill Ward.

The future direction for Trafford’s use of the fund is now beginning to shift towards active neighbourhoods: something I very much support. Initially, it will be targeted on the Urmston Town Centre and routes into it. I’m keen that it means that dropped kerbs become the standard at crossing points and we embrace something called ‘implied zebras’, a thing that you’re going to hear much more of, particularly in Salford. But I want it also to provide more seating and access to toilets on routes. We have to be including all ages and needs in this.

Leisure Centre Investment

The report sets out Trafford Leisure’s investment strategy. Within the document is reference to Stretford Leisure Centre, still very much subject to Civic Quarter Masterplan consultation but we’re assuming a new centre will be built:

It is designed and firmly positioned as community leisure centre predominantly serving residents in the Stretford and Old Trafford areas but also of sufficient capacity to meet the needs of an expanding student population at UA92.

The facility mix includes a 25m pool and 18m leisure pool with moveable floor. A 160 station fitness suite some 3 times bigger than the existing one with a health and wellbeing suite and assessment room to help people get the most from their fitness regimes. Overall there will be 9 court sports hall capacity with flexibility as an indoor cricket practice area to professional standard which attracts funding from the ECB and provides a route for local people to access world class practice facilities
alongside the elite cricketers.

This would combine with a number of fun activity based facilities aimed at the family market along with a social meeting point and café area offering wholesome, healthy food and party catering.
The total construction cost including overheads, inflation and car parking for 300 cars is £24.460m.

I think the key thing is that it has to serve the needs of  wider Stretford and Old Trafford. Proximity to Metrolink will help but fitness isn’t just about sports centres and we need to stop expecting to be able to travel door to door in a car. We need to provide an urban landscape that people want to walk and talk in.