Timperley Bypass, A560, Shaftsbury Avenue, Altrincham

OS 1937-61
Modern Map
Date opened/built:



1.14 miles (1.83kms).


Various, including 9ft (2.74m).

Adjoining footway:


Road type:

Urban arterial road.


Modern asphalt.

Both sides of road:


Adjacent to social housing:


Period mapping:

OS Six inch revised 1938, published 1946 https://maps.nls.uk/view/101598274 Shows route of bypass but no cycle tracks marked. OS 1:10,000 surveyed/revised 1930 to 1954, published 1954 https://maps.nls.uk/view/189189159 Hatching for cycle tracks.

OpenCycleMap status:

https://goo.gl/maps/oaTF7dHVVaWJBVxC6 Some cycleways and footways marked.


Newspaper reports, period maps.

Filming for the BBC “One Show” on the cycle track on one side of the Timperley bypass.

Shaftsbury Avenue — marked as the Timperley bypass on period maps— features wide cycle tracks and footways for some lengths but cyclists were also clearly supposed to use service roads, too, a common feature of some period cycle tracks.

“Tenders are invited for the construction of the [Timperley] by-pass approximately 2,000 lineal yards in length,” advertised the county surveyor in December 1937. (2,000 yards is 1.83kms.)

“The works include the construction of a concrete carriageway, ballasted service road, cycle tracks, footpath, bridge over the Cheshire Lines Railway, culvert to Fairywell Brook,” continued the advert.

The wide cycle track on the Timperley bypass is still well used by cyclists.

A housing plot advert in the Manchester Evening News of March 1939 said the finished house would be “fronting new bypass road.” However, a BBC Peoples’ War memory from an evacuee described the bypass as “unfinished” in September 1939.

The bypass and its cycle track was certainly in use ten years later when H. Downs of Stretford, a “cyclist who covers many hundreds of miles a year,” complained about the “so-called cycle track on the by-pass road from Altrincham to the roundabout at the junction of Stockport-Altrincham and Brooklands roads.”

A 1960 photograph in the Francis Frith collection shows the Timperley bypass cycle track with “Cyclists Only” signs on both sides of the road.

Another photograph of the same year shows the good condition of the wide cycle track and adjacent footway.


Shaftsbury Avenue — marked as ... A period “Cyclists and service road” sign is still in situ on Shenly Fields Road, Birmingham. https://goo.gl/maps/9jmfdRgxKap There is also a close-up photo of the sign at https://www.flickr.com/photos/co-ophistory/4895540958/in/pool97272861@N00/

“Tenders are invited for the ... Crewe Chronicle, 8 January 1938.

A housing plot advert ... Manchester Evening News, 31 March 1939.

However, a BBC Peoples’ War ... https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/08/a2794908.shtml

The bypass and its cycle track ... “As a cyclist who covers many hundreds of miles a year I would like to point out the disadvantages of cycle tracks. 1.—They are unsafe because there is no indication in which direction a single track may be used. 2.—They are used by pedestrians proceeding in both directions and quite often as a pram track. 3.—Where tracks are crossed by side roads, motorists frequently ignore the cycle tracks. 4.—There are the very dangerous places where one must leave the track to get back on the roadway. For example the run-in to the main road on Barton Road, within a short distance of Davyhulme Circle; the so-called cycle track on the by-pass road from Altrincham to the roundabout at the junction of Stockport- Altrincham and Brooklands roads; the very dangerous run in and out on the Northwich by-pass ; and the entrances and exits to cycle tracks on the East Lancashire Road, close to the traffic islands.” H. Downs. 20 Beresford Road. Stretford. Manchester Evening News, 21 January 1949.

A 1960 photograph ... https://www.francisfrith.com/uk/timperley-brook/timperley-shaftesbury-avenue-c1960_t143026

Another photograph of the same ... https://www.francisfrith.com/timperley-brook/timperley-shaftesbury-avenue-c1960_t143028

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