Monday, February 26, 2007


Working from home? We might all just have to!

Monday's are always a bit of a nightmare for me, as I'm sure they are for many people. After all, the worst thing about weekends is that they end, and if they've been hectic like this last one, then it's all the worse. So today I have been working from home, negating the need to do things that normally spoil Mondays - like putting on a tie.

I have achieved a reasonable amount from home though. First off I completed two fairly large pieces of work, and I also delayed commencing them for long enough to head down to the Scholes Lane / Hilton Lane / Bury New Road junction this morning to do a quick pedestrian count at rush hour. If we're going to push Bury Council into making the junction safer, we're going to have to use up to date usage statistics. So I will do a few head-counts and report back on the findings. It is certainly very busy there at peak times - buses, cars, trucks, bikes, not to mention school-shildren and other pedestrians.

And it's going to get worse once the Metrolink replacement works get underway and there are extra buses in the area. There may have to be about an extra bus every 90 seconds if they're going to accommodate everyone from the trams. Whilst I'm sure commuters would want them to go past this junction (it is on the most direct route from Prestwich to Manchester), I don't think they will - so the pedestrians won't have to risk anything in addition to the regular perils. I imagine most of the replacement buses will go from Prestwich to Heaton Park stations down Heys Road, then onto Bury Old Road, Sheepfoot Lane and Meade Hill Road to Bowker Vale. So it will be the people living and walking on those streets that suffer instead...

The junction and the Met are two major issues, and ones which local Lib Dems are continually trying to get answers to. Sadly, at present the Council are silent on the junction improvements, and GMPTE are still being extremely slack on details about the Met shutdown. I was talking to a friend yesterday who uses the met every single day to get to work from Prestwich. She has no idea what's going on, or how she'll get to work. The options are all extremely unappealing: Get a replacement bus that takes a lot longer; get a regular bus that will be absolutely packd; drive on the even-more-congested-than-normal roads, and then pay to park; cycle or walk!

We're being deprived of a transport lifeline for six months, and it's being done on the quiet! The Lib Dems are trying, but if you write to GMPTE or Bury Council as well, about Metrolink and the Hilton Lane junction, then hopefully we can achieve more together. At this rate, we might all have to start working from home! We won't be able to get to work!


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