I HAVE already put a date into my diary and would urge all other local people to do the same.

The date is December, 2017. Not wanting to wish the imminent spring, summer and autumn away, but by the end of the year, the "smart" motorway and A56 improvements will have been completed and traffic around the entire area will be free-flowing, coupled with a beautiful new thoroughfare going through the heart of Prestwich with its improved drainage, better provision for cars, bikes and pedestrians.

I wasn't aware there was a problem with the drainage and hope the proposed trees are not deciduous.

One of the many issues I am failing to grasp is that the A56 improvements are for a stretch of road about 400 metres in length.

Are the traffic improvements going to have a ripple effect all the way down to Manchester and up to Bury?

I noticed in the last edition of The Guide that the next township forum meeting will include a discussion of the regeneration scheme — what's to discuss? It's going ahead and will take 35 weeks!

Finally, where are all the cars, which the improved Prestwich is bound to attract, going to park.

It is almost impossible to park now so with an influx of visitors waiting to see the boulevards of Prestwich. I can only imagine the situation getting even worse.

Well, maybe not, as there might not be people visiting the library or walk-in centre.

Instead of the usual piecemeal approach, the regeneration of Prestwich should have included the Longfield Precinct as well as improvements to the A56 corridor and, most importantly, the views of the tax-paying public should be taken into account.

Councillors who have pushed these improvements through may well rue the day when it comes to the next round of local elections.

Much as I hope the improvements work, I suspect there will be little change to the current motorway and A56 rush hour tail-backs.

Bernard Hurst