Last week was the regular full meeting of Bury Council. As usual your local team of Liberal Democrat councillors asked the maximum number of questions allowed, here are some of the highlights:
Number 96 Bus (to Heywood Road and Simister)
Councillor Steve Wright asked a question following the very poor service seen in recent weeks and months on the above service (regularly running behind time and sometimes not even going to Simister).
Q. Could the Council’s spokesperson on the Greater Manchester Transport Committee comment on the very poor service in recent months on the 96 subsidised bus service to Simister? What can be done to improve on the reliability of this service, and in particular stop any ’turning back’ before Simister by the operator?
A. This has been an ongoing problem over recent months, the reasons behind the problems are as follows:
- Residents/Pub goers are parking in the turning circle at the terminal point in Simister so services have not been able to turn there and have had to turn around at Parrenthorn School turning area
- Timing issues have caused delays, especially in the Prestwich area, causing the service to continually run late.
- Roadworks at present and recently on Heywood Road in Prestwich has further compounded the issues.
- The route was changed in 2020 to service Prestwich and Simister but this has not worked out due to heavy traffic and one lane traffic (due to cycle lane in Prestwich village). The route was also extended last year and very little time added to help with punctuality.What has/is being put in place:
- The temporary roadworks were due for completion on 3rd September.
- Targeted traffic enforcement.
- Service changes to make this a morereliable/punctual service.
Residents Parking Schemes
Councillor Michael Powell asked about the refusal of the Council to take forwards Residents Parking Scheme proposals. In two areas of Prestwich (Upper Wilton Street and Warwick Street) these have been triggered by residents, but the policy is not being implemented by the Council.
Q. Residents in the Warwick Street/Albion Mews and Upper Wilton Street areas of Prestwich have now been waiting for over a year for the Council to follow its own policy on the consideration of a residents only parking scheme, in both cases a policy triggered by resident requests. When will this process start in both areas?
A. Due to resourcing pressures in dealing with the ongoing pandemic, the Council will not be accepting any applications for new resident parking schemes until further notice. There are currently 12 resident parking schemes in effect across the borough containing over 6000 properties. We will review the position periodically, but there are no current plans to start on any new residents parking schemes.
Green Belt land lost in the the “Places for Everyone Plan”
Councillor Cristina Tegolo asked about the proportion of green belt land lost (or gained) in the Places for Everyone plan (the new name for GMSF).
Q. Could the Leader inform members of the net proportion of green belt land to be removed/added in each of the six townships of Bury, for the whole of Bury and for the whole of (the nine districts of) Greater Manchester under the Places for Everyone plan?
A. On a township basis, Places for Everyone is proposing net changes to the Green Belt as follows:
- Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor would see a reduction of 0.8%;
- Bury West would see an increase of 5.8%;
- Bury East would see an increase of 1.6%;
- Radcliffe would see a reduction of 10.6%;
- Whitefield and Unsworth would see a reduction of around 28.6%; and
- Prestwich would see a reduction of around 13.7%.