You will notice that our group are called “Streets for People Levenshulme and Burnage”. This is because, whilst the majority of the area of the low traffic neighbourhood that we still hope to get is Levenshulme, there is also a part of Burnage that sits within the area (see below). It’s also because we don’t want to see the rest of Burnage left behind. We encourage Burnage councillors to engage with the Greater Manchester Bee Network process, and submit a bid to improve all streets in the Burnage ward for walking, cycling, and the use of mobility devices (such as mobility scooters and wheelchairs).
A lot of the discussion, including scheme websites and social media group names, often omits Burnage, and so we thought we’d give Burnage its own blog to itself. This may start out brief, and expand over time as more information is learned. Due to only a corner of Burnage ward being in the previously proposed Levenshulme Bee Network scheme it is sometimes difficult to get data for this area alone. (There’s also a teensy bit of Rusholme and Longsight sneaking in. We see you!)
That being said, we’ve tried our best, and rather than relying on the 2011 census data, we’ve delved into the depths of the council website and pulled up something a little more interesting. A Mosaic Profile!
We know what you’re thinking “What’s this cubist monstrosity hovering over my neighbourhood?”
That would be the Levenshulme (and bit of Burnage) Mosaic Profile. According to Experian, a mosaic profile is a population segmentation tool that uses a range of data and analytical methods to identify 15 summary groups and 66 detailed types of local area that are “easy to interpret and understand”.
The easy to interpret to understand is… debatable, so what we at Streets for People have done is produce a version that is more straightforward and more importantly, colourblind friendly, to allow anyone who wants to interpret this data the ability to do so for their local area (Data from December 2015). We believe the more data local residents have access too, regardless of their views, the more successful this scheme will be.
However, this is Burnage’s blog, so we will zoom in on the bit of Burnage in the previously proposed Levenshulme Bee Network scheme.
This area of Burnage (the one in the scheme) contains the following mosaic profiles (most common in bold).
|14||Cafes and catchments||Affluent families with growing children living in upmarket housing in city environs|
|35||Primary ambitions||Families with school-age children, who have bought the best house they can afford within popular neighbourhoods|
|37||Community elders||Established older neighbourhoods owning city homes in diverse neighbourhoods|
|38||Asian Heritage||Large extended families in neighbourhoods with a strong South Asian tradition|
|39||Ageing Access||Older residents owning small inner suburban properties with good access to amenities|
|43||Student Scheme||Students living in high density accommodation close to universities and educational centres|
|44||Flexible Workforce||Young renters ready to move to follow worthwhile incomes from service sector jobs|
|52||Midlife Stopgap||Maturing singles in employment who are renting affordable homes for the short term|
|58||Retirement communities||Older people living in retirement homes or designated complexes|
From this brief glance, it seems this part of Burnage is home to a large proportion of elderly residents, with at least two dedicated retirement apartment blocks. Thus, it would be worthwhile looking at how an active travel scheme might benefit these people.
According to Age UK’s report “The Future of Transport in an Ageing Society” improving the built environment can encourage older people to walk, cycle and exercise. Physical activity among older people has been linked to better cognitive performance, reductions in morbidity and mortality, and increased mental wellbeing.
Less traffic on the streets would also make it easier for the elderly to cross roads, as current road crossings do not give older people time to cross. (Pelican crossings assume a walk time of 1.2 metres per second. 76% of men and 85% of women over 65 walk slower than this.)
Cycling can also provide advantages for the elderly: a study by King’s College London on a group of cyclists aged 55 to 79 found these cyclists had levels of physiological function that are comparable to people much younger. For those who wish to continue cycling without the physical exertion, electric bikes – and trikes! – are now an up and coming option as well. Of course mobility scooters also provide a valuable service – but as they are speed limited by law to 8mph, using them on the roads in the area at the moment is a hair-raising experience, and using them on pavements difficult due to the high levels of pavement parking and lack of dropped kerbs.
Encouraging active travel among older people could therefore not only extend people’s transport options, especially for those who may be unable to drive for medical reasons, but could also confer health benefits. With the low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) we have the opportunity to remove barriers to transport, as well as helping people achieve better health.
It’s of course worth remembering, the ward lines are invisible, and any advantages in this bit of Burnage will be enjoyed by Levenshulmians and Burnagers alike, especially if they are brought closer by the low traffic neighbourhood plans.
See the original proposed LTN for this region set against the mosaic profile below.
Full MOSAIC profile numbered with Key by streets for people is HERE:
If you want to show your support for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Burnage and Levenshulme, and live in the local area, you can help by signing our collective letter to councillors and local leaders.
Help us get these measures trialled!