Wednesday, 28 May 2008

A winning combination at Fairhills Point in Irlam

The City of Salford Stadium, a new 20,000 sports arena for Salford Rugby League, is under construction. Much local debate about this development has focused on the negative externalities, mainly relating to traffic access on the already congested A57. In this respect the stadium represents all the worst features of British planning. Build it and then worry about the infrastructure second. There is much talk about new road crossing across the Canal, a link to the M62 (across greenbelt) and even an extension to Metrolink to the site. Any of these developments would be welcome if it enabled commuters to get out of the town without spending 20mins on Liverpool Road rolling frustratingly in first gear towards Junction 11 on the M60. However, I imagine they are all years away and so we will have to endure further traffic problems once the stadium is complete in two years time. Hopefully by then Salford will be back in the Premier League.

That said not many people refer to the positive economic development impact of the stadium. New jobs will be created and, according to the linked article, even people are relocating to Irlam. I for one will be attend more games at the stadium because it is only a short bus or taxi ride away.

So the stadium may become an Irlam attraction, but I am bit confused by the article's reference to the town's array of restaurants and services. We have three sit down restaurants in a town of over 20,000! The local independent retail sector has largely thanks to Tesco and numerous properties remain empty on the 'high street'. That said, a lack of on-street parking and access to local shop doesn't help. 10 years on we are still waiting the for A57 Improvement Corridor to take effect - that is when will the local authority actually do something other than superficial landscaping and road improvements. Moan moan moan.

Source: Manchester Property News | A winning combination at Fairhills Point in Irlam

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