Work to start on city centre bus priorities
Work is underway on new bus priorities through Manchester city centre as part of a major scheme which aims to “future-proof” the city’s transport infrastructure.
Transport for Greater Manchester and Manchester City Council have developed the bus priority package to significantly improve the quality, punctuality and reliability of bus services on 25 miles of key routes that run through the city and across Greater Manchester.
The scheme forms part of a three-year programme of works, known as ‘Grow’.
Between now and 2017, the city centre will see more than £1billion investment in transport and regeneration projects – including the Metrolink Second City Crossing and Cycle City cycleways.
“We’re working to make sure the transport network supports this growth, continuing to make Manchester a vibrant and prosperous city,” says Andrew Fender, chair, TfGM committee. “We’re making changes so that buses can travel in to, across, and out of the city without being held up in general traffic. This scheme will help bus passengers get to their destination in one journey, make journey times shorter and improve the reliability of travelling by bus.”
Sir Richard Leese, Manchester City Council leader adds: “No other UK city is growing as quickly as Manchester, and so we need to plan for and manage the accompanying pressure this growth puts on the city’s transport infrastructure.
“A huge amount of work is already underway – as can be seen across the city centre –and while this is being carefully coordinated this will inevitably mean some inconveniences. However, the benefits of this work in the long term – more efficient, punctual and quicker journeys across the city – will far outweigh the short term frustrations.”
Under the new scheme sections of Portland Street will be open for use by buses, cycles, taxis and emergency vehicles only. Buses will be able to travel on a near continuous bus lane to Piccadilly. Access to buildings along Portland Street will be maintained.
Some sections of roads will become one-way and Princess Street will become two-way so that drivers travelling from the south can use Upper Brook Street and Princess Street to travel in to the city centre as far as Major Street.
There will be some new cycle lanes and advanced cycle stop lines at signalised junctions, while some new and upgraded bus stops will be introduced to improve accessibility.
General traffic will still be able to access all areas of the city, although the route used may be different.
A new 3D video fly-through on the TfGM website shows a virtual journey through the city, showing improvements for bus users, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.