CYCLE lanes along the A56 could be removed from August, with a ‘major review’ to be carried out.

Borough environment chief Cllr Coun Stephen Adshead said the plan had ‘always been’ for the pop-up lanes brought in under lockdown to be temporary.

With council leader Cllr Coun Andrew Western he says he previously indicated the lanes could become permanent if there was enough support.

But after ‘a large number of complaints’ from drivers, local firms, bus operators and journey times increasing, the decision has been made to remove the lanes in preparation for schools returning in September.

Cllr Adshead said in a letter to a resident: “These temporary facilities were set up during the coronavirus pandemic when public transport was drastically reduced.

“When we first started setting them up the roads were very quiet. We had no funding ourselves for such work.

"It was always envisaged these works were temporary and would be kept under constant review as lockdown eased and traffic levels increased.

“We did recognise even before the schemes were put in there could be real challenges south of the M60.”

Cllr Adshead added: “Yes we had complaints from drivers, but crucially also from our partners, like local businesses and bus operators.

"Journey times from Sale to Timperley were taking nearly an hour – official data backs this up. We have acted fairly to all sides in this work.”

Cllr Adshead said there had been ‘a large number of complaints’ particularly about the cycle lane between Sale and Timperley – which was removed just 48 hours after it had been installed last month – but that cycling groups had also been consulted.

Levels of cycling rose in Trafford during lockdown by between two and 2.3 per cent – but Cllr Adshead said this fell dramatically ‘when the weather turned’.

Three cyclists died on Trafford’s roads in May alone this year and campaigners had welcomed the new lanes as providing more safety for cyclists.

One long-term commuter from Trafford to Manchester said that “for the first time in 40 years, he felt safe” along the A56.

The hope of some Trafford cyclists had been to see the lanes become permanent for pollution reasons too.

It is understood council officers are now looking at potential routes that run alongside the A56 that could be suitable for cycle lanes in future.

Cllr Adshead said: “I can confirm, these temporary schemes aside, [the council] continues with our longstanding and permanent schemes.”

Permanent schemes include Urmston’s new active neighbourhood plans, with new walking and cycling routes being added throughout the area and between Sale and Sale Moor.

Other routes will include a link between Urmston meadows and Chorlton water park, linking into the Chorlton cycle way and the city centre.

A Trafford Council spokesman added: “We took the bold decision to create a temporary cycle lane on the A56 in line with government advice on social distancing and the restricted use of public transport, and made it clear we would keep this under review.

“While we are constantly monitoring the situation it makes sense for the next major review of the temporary cycle lane to take place at the end of the summer when more people will be returning to work following the easing of lockdown and  all children are scheduled to be back in school.

“It will be at that time that decisions will be taken as to the future of this temporary cycle lane which will take into account traffic data and a wide range of views  and we are not going to prejudge those decisions at this stage.”