As the first anniversary of the £4m shared space road scheme in Poynton approaches, the project is tentatively being given the thumbs up.
And while traffic management experts claim the Poynton scheme is showing early signs of being a success, a local councillor who has been involved in the scheme’s implementation considers it has helped revive the town.
The scheme at Fountain Place, at the junction of the A523 and A5149, came to an end last March, and included the removal of traffic lights, which were replaced by a single lane road feeding into two roundabouts.
Earlier this week, the scheme in Poynton, won praise from traffic campaigner Martin Cassini who said the biggest project so far in the UK was working well.
He said: “Poynton, has removed traffic lights and highway clutter at Fountain Place, a major crossroads carrying 26,000 vehicles a day through the heart of the village.
“Now there is an attractive, open streetscape in which free-flowing traffic interacts sociably with pedestrians. Not only have delays dropped markedly, but since the scheme was unveiled, trading activity in local shops has doubled.
“This alternative approach to traffic management has brought substantial regeneration benefits as a result of reducing the delays and negative environmental effects associated with traffic controls.”
His views about revitalising Poynton, are shared by Coun Howard Murray, who said: “It’s six years since we first tried to do something about the traffic through the town and it has not been without its trials and tribulations.
“While we still have tailbacks during peak periods, I am sure people regard it as a vast improvement, and while traffic flows more slowly it actually gets through quicker.
“We are also seeing tangible benefits to the revitalisation of Poynton.”
Coun Murray said the new scheme had attracted interest from around the world.
He added: “The interest in the scheme here has been global and people come from Europe to look what we have done.
“If people look at the before and after some will still not accept Poynton is ahead of the game in the revival of the High Street.” If you have a view on the scheme send it to our letters page or to macclesfield firstname.lastname@example.org .