Milkstone Road Pedestrianised?

March 4, 2021 6:28 AM
By Hassan Ansari
View From Rochdale StationAs you may be aware, there is a major redevelopment planned around Rochdale train station. I am cautiously encouraged at the prospect of significant new investment in our area - which has been ignored for many years.

However, I am deeply concerned that the proposals are only focussed on bringing new people and businesses into the area - with little consideration for those of us who already live in the area or run a business here. Based on my initial review of the proposals - there is no reference to the existing community or any proposals to improve services or opportunities for them. Nor does it explain the impact the changes would have on traffic in the area - nor any meaningful statement on improving transport links - including cycling routes - to the station.

I am also concerned by how these proposals have been created. In my first review I noticed that they included a proposal to pedestrianise Milkstone Road for much of the distance between Drake Street and Tweedale Street. As you might imagine, this would be massively disruptive for residents and potentially damaging to businesses in the area who are still trying to adapt to the ill considered introduction of double yellow lines in 2019.

I presented this information to Councillor Andy Kelly last week and he raised the issue in a Council scrutiny meeting on the proposals last Wednesday. After a lengthy - and at times quite confusing discussion - it was established that in spite of the pedestrianisation being clearly documented in the consultation papers and a number of Councillors speaking at length in support of it - that there were in fact no plans to pedestrianise Milkstone Road. It was a mistake. Based on this, the consultation papers have been returned for correction.

I am now seriously concerned what else might be included in the proposals which may not actually happen - but also what is planned that is not stated in the document. Can we really have any faith in them at all now?

I would urge everyone who lives and works in the area to complete the Coucil consultation survey - you can find it here.

In the meantime, I have created a short survey based on feedback from people in the area. To help guide my research in the coming days, I would really like to know how you feel about the plans. The survey should take no more than five minutes to complete. Your feedback is really valuable, I really want to hear it.
Take The Survey (Rochdale Liberal Democrats)

This development will radically alter the character of our area for many years to come. It could be a massive boost for everyone - but considering its haphazard handling so far - it could also be an expensive mess. That is why I really need to hear your opinion so that I can help make sure it works for all of us.

Hassan Ansari
Liberal Democrat Candidate, Milkstone & Deeplish
Spokesperson for Business & Technology