A major phase in the transformation of Manchester’s Oxford Road begins next week, with plans for new bus lanes and stops along with segregated cycle lanes and ‘Dutch-style’ bike bypasses to separate cyclists from buses.
On Monday (8 August) a temporary one-way system will be introduced between Hathersage Road and Booth Street to allow engineers to start work on this next phase, which should be completed in September.
The one-way system will mean traffic heading away from the city centre will need to use an alternative route, Upper Brook Street, from 8 August to Sunday 4 September.
Bus operators will also be using alternative routes and stops when travelling away from the city centre and cyclists will be affected by the one-way system. A signed diversion route is in place for them via Lloyd Street and Cambridge Street, and via Cavendish Street and Booth Street West.
Transport for Greater Manchester has published details of the affected bus services on its website, as well as a map to help drivers and cyclists navigate the area.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: ‘We’ll start to see a real difference to Oxford Road by the autumn, making the whole area a much more pleasant space for everyone who uses it.
‘As well as the environmental improvements, the result will be better transport connections for people offering more, direct travel choices for work, education, leisure and healthcare.
‘This is a significant investment in Greater Manchester’s economic future, the long-lasting benefits of which will easily outweigh the short-term disruption caused by its implementation, and I’m grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding while we get there.’
The Oxford Road project will be introduced in phases and ultimately see a bus and cycle-only corridor created between Hathersage Road and Grosvenor Street.
Instead of overtaking buses on Oxford Road, a cyclist will be able to ride ‘behind’ the stop on the road, making it easier and safer. These new cycle bypass lanes will feature coloured surfacing and pedestrian crossing points, including a zebra style crossing, to enable different road users to navigate the area.
Greater Manchester’s first lane of this type was built opposite Whitworth Park last year as a trial and has been in use since.
TfGM plans boulevard-style walking spaces for for pedestrians, with wider footways and quieter roads.
The makeover for one of Europe’s busiest bus corridors should be completed in September and is part of the £1bn Grow project of city centre infrastructure improvements to be completed by 2017.
These plans include the Metrolink Second City Crossing, bus priority measures, six new and better cycle routes into the city centre and major rail improvements.