Angry residents say their home is being ‘severely let down’ by dangerous pavements

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People in Withington are getting to the end of their tether over dangerous pavements.

Wilmslow Road, which runs through the suburb, is extremely uneven in places, prompting frustrated locals to call on the council for help.

The main road sits across the boundary of two council wards and therefore some plans only look at resurfacing one side of the street.

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Debbie Hey, who has lived in Withington for 37 years and is involved in community campaigns, has been fighting for the improvement of pavements for more than a year.

She said: “Withington has got a lot going for it – we still have a library, leisure center thanks to a campaign by the community to save it.

“The public hall and the now famous ‘Withington Walls’.

“But it is severely let down by poor infrastructure and in particular by the pavements.”

Withington is the only district area in Manchester that is a conservation area.

A unique pavement in Withington
A unique pavement in Withington

But, the uneven and multi-layered pavements is a cause for concern for some residents worried about accidents involving wheelchairs or prams.

Wilmslow Road in the district centre, covers two electoral wards, with the road cutting the two wards down the middle.

But, Debbie is concerned that work will only be carried out along one side of the street.

Debbie added: “The whole of Wilmslow Road running through the village was resurfaced quite recently, not just the half that was deemed to be in a worse state of repair than the other.

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“They (the pavements) have gone beyond the repair stage and require full resurfacing.

“We’ve had more consultations and reports with glossy brochures to accompany them on the state of, and plans for, the village than you can shake a stick at.

“However, very little action has followed. Not denying that the public purse is very tight, but Withington seems to fare worse than nearby district centers with presumably the same financial constraints.

“The state of the pavements bears this out.”

Despite many different proposals being brought forward to improve the pavements in Withington, work is yet to be done.

A spokesperson for Manchester city council said: “The Withington Village Framework was approved by the Council in March 2021 following engagement with residents and key stakeholders in the area.

“This framework set out the improvements to the public realm and how the Village could be improved with an emphasis on encouraging people to walk or cycle.

“A £15m bid was also submitted to the government’s Leveling Up Fund which would have been used to help reconstruct pavements within the Village but unfortunately, this was unsuccessful.

“This bid is being reviewed and could be resubmitted.

“Since 2017 a total of 41 schedules of improvement works have been carried out in Withington including preventative works, footway schemes and resurfacing, with the maintenance of footways being given priority in future rounds of funding.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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