Dutch-style cycle lanes planned for Oxford Rd
TfGM have released an artist’s impression of the proposed changes for Oxford Road, with more details due next week when the public consultation starts on Wednesday May 22nd.
GMCC members have been discussing the details of this scheme with TfGM and MCC for over 18 months, and fortunately the plans for cycling on Oxford Road have been much improved since the earliest design ideas.
Plans to transform travel along Oxford Road with priority for buses, pedestrians and cyclists will be unveiled to the public next week.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Manchester City Council will hold a five-week long public consultation on the “Cross City Bus Priority” plans from Wednesday 22 May to Wednesday 26 June.
The proposals also include measures to improve bus travel in the Portland Street and Chinatown areas of the city centre.
The scheme will allow shorter bus journey times on more reliable, punctual “cross-city” services that can travel from a wider area through the heart of Manchester city centre.
Residents and businesses will be asked for their say on plans to make sections of Oxford Road available for use by buses, taxis (hackney cabs), emergency vehicles and cycles only.
Cyclists could travel on improved cycle routes along new Dutch-style cycle lanes, while pedestrians would benefit from widened footpaths and improvements at junctions and crossings.
Changes to traffic movements in the city centre would also keep some buses separate from general traffic to allow more reliable services. New and upgraded bus stops will improve accessibility.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “With traffic levels rising, it’s crucial that we make sure people can easily get around our city by more sustainable transport – in this case, by bus, bike or on foot.
“The bus priority package is one of the largest investments in the Greater Manchester bus network in decades.
“Giving buses priority will allow bus operators to introduce services that cross through the city centre free from traffic, without need for passengers to change service.
“Oxford Road is one of the busiest bus routes in Europe and we want it to offer a European style travel experience, not just for bus passengers, but pedestrians and cyclists.
“I encourage everyone who lives, works in or travels through our city centre to take a look at these plans and have their say.”
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Environment for Manchester City Council, said: “The city is growing and we need to make sure that our transport system supports this growth.
“These plans will boost investment along the routes and support emerging business and commercial centres. They allow full access to businesses along the route and general traffic will be accommodated on other parallel routes.
“The changes we are proposing are essential to delivering a more sustainable transport system connecting people with employment, education, health, leisure and shopping and providing real alternatives to the car.”
Some of the proposals will require changes to parking, loading and waiting restrictions. Following the consultation and consideration of comments received, Manchester City Council will be required to legally advertise the proposed Traffic Regulation Orders.
Full details of all the proposals will be available online at www.tfgm.com/buspriority from Wednesday 22 May.
Leaflets asking people for their say will be distributed in the city centre and sent to around 40,000 properties. Staff will be available to answer questions by telephone (0300 123 1177) and at a number of public events.
If approved, work could start on the proposed changes to the city centre and Oxford Road area during spring 2014, with completion scheduled for summer 2015.
The bus priority scheme has been developed as part of the overall transport strategy for the city centre, which includes plans for a second city centre crossing for Metrolink.