A plan to block off a traffic rat run at the centre of a Sale housing estate has been dropped amid a wave of protest.

The proposal to put bollards at either end of a 300-yard stretch of Walton Road to prevent people from making short cut to avoid the busy A56 Washway Road will now go back to the drawing board.

The plan had been put forward following a consultation earlier this year by the sustainable transport organisation Sustrans and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Trafford council’s executive committee ditched the move in the face of a 416-name petition and objections from 906 households on the Walton Road estate earlier this year.

There was also a huge turnout at a consultation meeting at the Life Centre where local people voiced their opposition to the plan.

Geoff Marsh, a retired assistant director of environmental services for the authority and himself a local resident, addressed the meeting on behalf of the petitioners.

He said the scheme would force much of the neighbourhood traffic directly onto Washway Road from Langdale Road, Eastway and Homelands Road.

Mr Marsh went on: “There are three major problems with this. Firstly, there are very real safety issues with traffic turning right onto a very busy main road.

“Secondly, there will be an enormous increase in traffic through the Washway Road and Marsland Road junction. This will cause severe problems, not just for local traffic, but also for through traffic.

“And lastly, the western end of Eastway is regularly congested with parked cars. This already makes travelling to the traffic signals difficult and the current traffic light sequence only allows four or five vehicles to leave Eastway in each cycle.”

He said that a similar scheme to prevent Walton Road being used as a rat run was tried in the 1980s, involving the introduction of a one-way system.

“This resulted in major problems and Walton Road was returned to two-way traffic a short time later.”

Responding, Councillor Aidan Williams, Trafford’s executive member for climate change and transport strategy, said: “There is not a sufficient level of popular support for the plans to be implemented.

“The next steps locally will need to involve further consultation.”

However, leader of the Green Party group Coun Daniel Jerrome said: “I feel that before scheme [like this] go out to the public for consultation there should be more pre-scrutiny so that the many issues can be ironed out.

“We should also want stronger consultation about the public health and climate arguments. A lot of these schemes are only temporary and only last about 18 months.”

Council leader Andrew Western said that he had previously lived in the area for more than 30 years.

“The question of the merits of these schemes is a finely balanced one,” he said.

“It’s imperative that we do these things right. Some 906 responses are more than 60 per cent of the households on the Walton Road estate.”

And he said one of the difficulties was the way Sustrans and TfGM attempted to consult “at such an early stage”. “It gives rise to people thinking it’s a done deal,” he said.

“We will be coming back with another set of proposals. I think this has proved to be an exercise that shows how worthwhile proper consultation is.”