A CYCLE lane in Trafford was removed 48 hours after being installed as they continue to divide opinion across the borough.

While some are in favour of the lanes along the A56, which could form a permanent part of the borough’s move towards a “cleaner, greener borough” in the future if approved, others are furious at the current traffic gridlock forming along the borough’s main roads.

More traffic is getting back onto the road as lockdown begins to ease but, with at least one lane of two closed along much of the A56 to make room for cyclists and pedestrians, commuters are complaining of long tailbacks.

One of the new extensions to the seven-mile cycle lane along the A56 travels south into Timperley. It was installed over the weekend and pictured at 9pm on Monday. But by 9am on Tuesday, it was gone.

It has now emerged the council pulled the new extension back to Sale Town Centre, removing the Timperley link.

The move was to ease congestion and will be reviewed, council leader Cllr Andrew Western confirmed.

At the start of lockdown, one commuter praised the seven-mile-long lane along the A56 and said for the first time in almost 40 years of cycling into Manchester via that road, he felt safe.

But in the last month alone, four people are known to have died cycling on Trafford’s roads.

Cllr Michael Welton, a Green councillor, said: “Halfords in Altrincham have sold six months of bikes in six weeks. There will be lots of new riders and they need to be protected.”

Cllr Nathan Evans, leader of Trafford Conservatives, said: “As with the recent change of heart on the crazy idea to close Barrington Road in Altrincham to vehicles, it would be a positive step for Andrew Western to acknowledge that his scheme is an error, that he got this one wrong, and get our borough flowing freely as lockdown is lifted.

“We certainly need safe cycle routes but at a time when we need maximum opportunity for access to work and limited use of public transport, simply halving the main route into Manchester, without proper consideration or any consultation with local residents, is the wrong decision.”

Cllr Western said: "The Government was clear that councils should look to re-designate road space for walking and cycling, and in particular on trunk roads and arterial routes.

“The council followed this advice and the scheme progressed with only minimal disruption to traffic flows in the initial stages. However as the lane reduction was extended through Sale southbound over the weekend the level of congestion quickly became unmanageable.

“This morning the scheme has been pulled back to Sale Town Centre in order to reduce congestion with a further review to take place in the next 24 hours.”

A Trafford Council spokesman said: “We have been carrying out a review of its temporary cycle lanes which were installed to allow for more cycling and walking during the lockdown.

“As the lockdown eases, and in light of recent traffic challenges, the council has decided to adjust the temporary A56 cycle lane in Sale by moving it back to Sibson Road. We will be reviewing alternative options.”