Sunday, 25 June 2017

Of endings and new beginnings at the bottom of Edge Lane

Now subways have always appealed to the child in me although they are only pale imitations of the two foot tunnels under the Thames where I grew up and the Underground.

When I was younger those foot tunnels were magic and the adventure began with the descent in the lift or better still the spiral staircase and then the long walk under the river, with the floor gently sloping down before rising again as we reached North Woolwich.

Most of the time, you were pretty much on your own with just the echo of your own footsteps and perhaps a conversation from two strangers far away at the other end of the tunnel.

And in its own way the Underground could also be seductive, whisking you all over the city and beyond on journeys deep below the surface which only came out into daylight for brief moments or at the very end of the line.

And along with the speed and the darkness there was that smell particularly strong in the summer which was blown towards you as the tube hurtled into the station.

By comparison the subway linking two sets of pavements is small beer and as I get older they are places to avoid. They are dark and lonely and at times threatening, but are ones which generations of planners have thought were alright to make us use, thereby freeing up the surface for traffic.

Andy Robertson has been down at the Stretford end of Edge Lane commenting that “there is 6 months worth of ‘improvements’ going on at Chester Road/Edge Lane so I thought I'd investigate. The subway from the Metro Stop to old town hall is still open but the one on the other side is now blocked off. Went under the tunnel for probably only the third or fourth time in my life.”

All of which is three times more than me.

But I notice that at on one side of Edge Lane work is in progress and there is a big hole, but I am too lazy to check out the planning site to find out what exactly is going on or what the improvements promise.

I am confident someone will tell me, and in the meantime I also know that Andy will be back to record the progress.

And a thank you to Pawel who did the business and checked out the planning portal for Trafford, which said the improvement works are "in the form of highway alignment changes, filling of existing substation crossing points, provision of controlled crossings, traffic signal improvements, footway and carriageway improvements, installation of features, planting of trees and shrubs and other various public realm enhancements. | Junction Of Chester Road, Kingsway And Edge Lane, Stretford, M32 0LG"*

So there you have it and thank you Pawel.

Location; Edge Lane

Pictures; down on Edge Lane, 2017 from the collection of Andy Robertson

*Planning Application Summary, Trafford Council, 88926/EIASCR/16,


  1. Having walked through the tunnels many thousands of times I can honestly say I don't miss them or the sense of impending doom that kicks in every time.

  2. After years of complaints from ladies and elderly persons about their personal safety when using these tunnels it has been decided after some local consultation to do away with three of them retaining the one that leads over to the Public Hall-never has it been our Town Hall even though the title mistakenly lingers on- this means returning to crossing the road on the surface once more. There have been fatalities on light controlled crossings on the Chester Rd including in recent times and none in the subways and very few robbery or assault problems just a general feeling of unease. To help things along the planners have decided to widen Chester Rd by removing the central reservation and providing a fifth lane so that two lanes can turn right towards Chorlton and I forsee they will eventually want to widen Edge Lane. So pedestrians will have to cross five lanes on Chester Rd which will hold traffic back even longer and cancel out the benefit of the two right turn lanes that is supposed to speed things up. It will also add to congestion which is what they want all along so as to get people to vote for a congestion charge...