Monday, 22 April 2013

20’s Plenty for Us Welcomes Overhaul of UK Speed Signage Rules

The Department for Transport are changing traffic sign regulations. Fewer repeater speed limit signs would make wide 20mph limit implementation cheaper. Even more places are expected to agree to 20mph limits for their communities.

On 16th April at the Traffex conference, Graham Hanson, DfT Head of Traffic signs policy announced a “radical overhaul” of legislation. Plans include significantly reducing ‘repeater signage’. Local authorities could have sole discretion over signing speed limit changes and intervals. Changes will be consulted on shortly. Laws would alter in March 2015.

Due to the success and popularity of wide-area 20mph limits which are now normal in so many of our cities(1) 20’s Plenty for Us have been calling on DfT to recognize the ‘transition’ phase. The UK is moving from the old default of 30mph set in 1934 to slower speeds. 20mph should be accepted as the appropriate limit for most residential streets and where there are high numbers of vulnerable road users.

20mph is prominent in the DfT’s Setting Local Speed Limits Guidance from January 2013 where Local Authorities are reminded of a ‘priority for action’:-

“Traffic authorities are asked to keep their speed limits under review with changing circumstances, and to consider the introduction of more 20 mph limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists….”

A major cost element of 20mph limits is currently repeater signs. 20’s Plenty for Us say these are superfluous since most government organisations recognise 20mph limits as best practice for most roads. It makes sense to let local authorities sign a 20mph default – eg York is a 20mph city unless otherwise stated - and use repeater signs only on 30mph roads and above (2). In Portsmouth 94% of roads are 20mph. Changes will mean hundreds fewer signs for new 20mph places with significantly reduced costs and visual clutter.

Rod King, Founder and Campaign Director of 20’s Plenty for Us commented :-

“This is a triumph of common sense. It would cut 20mph limit costs. With recent more flexible mixing of zones and limits, easing of Traffic Regulation Order red tape and recommendations within latest guidance on wide-area 20mph limits, we expect near universal adoption of 20mph limits for residential roads. A tipping point will be reached when the de-facto standard national speed limit will be 20mph. International observers have seen how the UK is taking a ‘progressive and pragmatic’ route to the implementation of 20mph limits for residential roads. Fewer repeater signs is another important milestone.”

1 Bristol, Bath, York, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton & Hove, Newcastle, Liverpool, Islington, Camden, Lancashire, Warrington, Wigan, Portsmouth.

2 Current regulations require any speed limit other than the ‘national’ limits of 30mph and 60mph to have regular repeater signs.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Recent Chorlton Planning Applications - March/April '13

Below are recently submitted Planning Applications in the Chorlton area. You can find out more information about any of the proposals on the City Council's Planning Portal at or by contacting the South Area Planning Group Manager - Roger Hall; Tel: (0161) 234 4536; email: . You can also make a Planning representation (in support or opposition) to Mr Hall or the designated planning officer for each application. Please feel free to contact me on (07947383740; if you wish to discuss any application and please also send me a copy of any representation you make.

102007/NMC/2013/S1 70 Claude Road Chorlton Manchester M218DF Non-material change to planning permission ref: 101197/FH/2012/S1 to allow the installation of an additional rooflight to the front of the property

102010/NMC/2013/S1 70 Claude Road Chorlton Manchester M218DF
Non-material change to planning permission ref: 101199/FH/2012/S1 to
allow the installation of an additional rooflight to the front of the property
  101851/FH/2013/S1 26 Daresbury Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9WA
Erection of single-storey rear extension to form additional living accommodation

101898/FH/2013/S1 12 Neale Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9DQ
Erection of single-storey garage to side of property

101923/FH/2013/S1 12 Hartley Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9NG
Erection of part single, part two-storey side extension to form additional livingaccommodation
  102028/FH/2013/S1 65 Oswald Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9QD
Erection of single-storey side extension and single-storey conservatory to rear

102054/FH/2013/S1 9 Barway Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9JZ
Alterations to roof to form gable roof, installation of rear dormer with juliet balcony and associated elevational alterations
  101690/FH/2013/S1 53 Vicars Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9JB Erection of part single, part two-storey side and rear extension to form additional living accommodation to dwellinghouse (C3 Use Class)
  101801/FO/2013/S1 Paupers Wood Junction Of Nell Lane And Princess Road Erection of single-storey timber structure on stilts to form waterless composting toilet with associated access ramp
  102038/FH/2013/S1 219 Brantingham Road Whalley Range Manchester M21 0TP
Erection of two-storey side and rear extension to form additional living accommodation

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

£600k Boost for cycling in Manchester from Coalition Government

Cyclists in Manchester are set to benefit from investment in safer roads, announced by Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Norman Baker.

This funding boost is part of £40m fund to improve dangerous routes and junctions and in Greater Manchester will provide 100 advanced stop lines and 50 trixi mirrors help prevent cyclist casualties. As well as this the Wimslow Road/Wilbraham Road junction will receive a £200k boost making it more cycle friendly.

The money will be made available to improve the design and layout of roads at 78 locations across the country, with all schemes due for completion within the next 12 months.

Commenting, John Leech said:

!Road safety is so vital in Manchester for cyclists and other road users and I’m delighted Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are taking action to improve road safety for all.

“It is absolutely essential people should be able to cycle to work or school in a safe environment. This £600k government funding boost in our area will go a long way to achieving this.

“Not only is cycling healthy and enjoyable but by getting more people out of their cars and on their bikes, we can ease congestion too and strengthen our local economy.”

Councillor for Withington Simon Wheale said, “I’m really pleased with this investment the Wilmslow Road/Wilbraham Road junction is one of the main routes into town for Withington and Fallowfield residents and a very dangerous junction. I’m glad we are finally seeing an investment that will mean thousands can travel to and from town safely.”
Last year Liberal Democrats in Manchester passed a motion to introduce 20mph in Manchester, now’s the time to implement this to make Manchester a cycle friendly city with a strong emphasis on road safety for all.”

Commenting further, Norman Baker said:

“Cycling is healthy and reduces congestion so it is welcome news that more and more people are taking to two wheels. Ensuring this funding is targeted where improvements will make a real difference to cyclists is just one way we are ensuring this trend continues.

“This is part of the £107 million investment we have announced in cycling infrastructure over the last year, over and above the £600m we have invested through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

“We have launched a THINK! “Let’s Look Out For Each Other” campaign and have made it easier for councils to set 20mph speed limits and install trixi mirrors at junctions so drivers are better able to see cyclists.”

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Message from Nick Clegg: Delivering fairer tax

The new tax year has just started and that means Liberal Democrat tax reforms are coming into effect. From now on, more of the money people earn will go into their pockets and less will go to the taxman.

That's because we've raised the point at which you start paying income tax. Over 20 million people will now pay £600 less than they did under Labour. In households where two people are working, that’s an extra £1200 a year. £1200 to cover energy bills, or mortgage repayments, or to go towards a family holiday. And next April it’ll go up again. The vast majority of British taxpayers won’t pay a penny of income tax on the first £10,000 they earn. Millions of the lowest earners won’t pay any at all.

This is real help in tough times and it wouldn’t have happened without the Liberal Democrats.

Of course, the new 45p upper tax rate – down from 50p – is also coming into effect. But don’t let Labour pull the wool over people’s eyes. They may complain now, but of the 13 years they were in power, the 50p rate was in place for just 36 days.

In fact, for most of the time their top tax rate was 40p. Not 50p. Not 45p. But 40p - 5p less than now. And under Labour a cleaner would pay a higher rate of tax on their wages than a hedgefund manager selling their shares - a gross unfairness we have fixed.

What matters most today is that millions of people feeling the pinch will see their income tax cut – a promise from the Liberal Democrats in opposition, delivered by us in government.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Chorlton Liberal Democrats welcome Income Tax cut for 133,880 people in Manchester

Chorlton MP John Leech has hailed the 6 April Income Tax cut as a giant leap towards the Liberal Democrat goal of a fairer tax system.

On 6 April 2013, the Personal Allowance will be raised to £9,440 – the largest rise in the Personal Allowance ever. This means that 133,800 ordinary basic rate taxpayers in Manchester will see their Income Tax cut for the third year in a row. That will bring the total Income Tax cut since Labour’s time in government to £600.

Thanks to this rise in the point at which you start to pay Income Tax, the number of the lowest paid people who have been lifted out of paying any Income Tax in Manchester will reach 14,330.

John Leech MP said:

“This Income Tax cut is real help for ordinary people in these difficult times. It is evidence of how in the Coalition Government, the Liberal Democrat priority is to create a fairer society and a stronger economy, enabling everyone to get on in life.

“Labour increased taxes for lower paid workers by abolishing the 10p tax rate and now stand on the side-lines denying their responsibility for the economic mess they created. It show how people still can’t trust them to make the right decisions on the economy.

“At the same time, we know that you can’t trust the Tories to deliver a fairer society. It is thanks to Liberal Democrats that 24m basic rate taxpayers are getting an Income Tax cut on 6 April. At the same time, Liberal Democrats in the Coalition are cracking down on tax avoidance and ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share.”