SECTIONS of two roads in Tameside have been blocked off to prioritise people over cars after concerns they were being used as a ‘dangerous’ rat run by motorists.
Currier Lane, Ashton, and Stamford Drive, Stalybridge, have had ‘modal filters’ installed which prevents speeding traffic and opens the roads up to people, bicycles and wheelchairs.
The filters have taken the form of wooden planters spaced in the middle of the road, and on the bridge at Currier Lane.
Residents in the area have previously voiced concerns over speeding vehicles and rat-running, with cars using the residential roads as a cut-through instead of the parallel Stamford Street.
Currier Lane is closed at its junction with Sunnyside Grove and Stamford Drive near to its junction with Thompson Drive on an experimental basis of up to 18 months.
However, the roads are accessible from other points, meaning residents, delivery vehicles and emergency services can still access all homes.
Members of Currier Lane Area Residents Association are supporting the initiative.
Dave Dawson, assistant secretary at the association, said: “I think it’s an absolutely superb idea. It had started to become a rat run and it’s been quite dangerous.
“A couple of older ladies wouldn’t walk across the bridge but now they are walking through to the shops. They are all delighted with it.
“It’s quieter and well worth it for the peace and tranquillity.”
Data collection and consultation with residents after six months will be used to assess the effectiveness of the scheme, and the options of changes, making it permanent, or removed.
Residents and businesses within the local area have been notified by letter with contact details given to report any issues.
Dubbed ‘active neighbourhoods’ the measures to create a series of cycle and pedestrian only access areas are part of the council’s ‘Safe Streets Save Lives’ initiative to allow residents to social distance and travel safely during the pandemic.
Councillor Warren Bray, cabinet member for transport and connectivity, said: “Active neighbourhoods will help change roads that have become rat runs into quieter, safer, less polluted streets that will encourage residents to walk or cycle more and allow children to feel safe playing outside.
“We want to harness and build on the positive shift towards more sustainable travel while working together to consider more permanent solutions that will create a safer, more walking and cycling friendly borough for everyone.”