Part of Ashton to be pedestrianised to keep students at new college safe
Monday 28th January 2019 @ 17:09 by Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Ashton News Tameside

A section of Ashton-under-Lyne is to be pedestrianised to keep students at a new college building ‘safe’ and make the market square easier to access on foot.

The changes, which have been approved by Tameside’s executive cabinet, will mean that some bus stops that currently use the area around the Tameside One building on Wellington Road will have to relocate.

All traffic would be removed from the area between Clarendon Sixth Form College and the new Advanced Skills Centre, which would result in a reduction of ‘noise and pollution’ for the town centre area, bosses say.

A number of options were considered for traffic changes, but the favoured one – which would see all buses use Penny Meadow, Henrietta Street and Albion Way in both directions – was agreed.

Council leader Brenda Warrington said: “I think it is absolutely crucial that we make sure that the students that will be going backwards and forwards between the college buildings are obviously safe, and that is the priority concern.”

The Tameside One development is set to open on February 25th.

The plan would remove the existing right turn onto Wellington Road at the Turner Lane junction.

The bus stop for inbound services would need to be relocated to the lower end of Penny Meadow, which would allow easier pedestrian access to the market square.

A brand new bus stop would be needed on Henrietta Street for outbound vehicles.

It is aimed that the proposed bus stops provide easy access to and from town centre facilities.

The total cost of the works is estimated to be £95,000.

“We suggest that the area between the college and Tameside One is pedestrianised,” Nigel Gilmore, head of strategic infrastructure told councillors.

“We have had discussions with the bus companies, clearly they would like to keep on the existing route but they have not made any particular objections.”

Deputy leader councillor Bill Fairfoull added that the bus stop was ‘crucial’ to people wanting to access the town centre.

“It’s about coming down where the market is and getting a bus to take them back home,” he said.

They will now have to secure a number of traffic regulation orders, working with Transport for Greater Manchester to secure the relocation of bus stops.

Associated ‘minor civil works’ and equipment for installation would also be required.

“It is important not only to retain existing town centre users but in the longer term, encourage greater visitor numbers,” the report to cabinet states.

“Increasing its attractiveness, encourages greater dwell time and incentivises 1greater spend, a linchpin of the Vision Tameside initiative.”

It’s thought that the new system is likely to be introduced after three months.