Works to complete “the final piece in the jigsaw” of a £2.5m cycling route linking MediaCityUK with central Manchester are set to win funding from Salford City Council.
The route runs along the Liverpool Street Corridor, one of the three key routes into Manchester city centre, running along Chapel Street to Regent Road to the south.
This route also forms part of the National Cycle Network, which links MediaCity, Salford Quays, and Eccles with Manchester, and runs from Weaste and Langworthy to Middlewood Street, where developer Scarborough and contractor BCEGI are currently building a major mixed-use development on the fringe of Manchester city centre.
However, a report to the council said the existing corridor was currently in “a poor condition” and is “dominated by vehicular traffic with very few opportunities for pedestrians to cross, and the surrounding environment is very industrial”.
“It is very important that the corridor receives investment to improve its look and feel in order to attract and support high quality development in keeping with the regeneration taking place in surrounding neighbourhoods”, added the report.
As a result, the council is looking to release £100,000 of funding to get the project under way. This will include a footway-level cycle track for the full length of the route, shared between pedestrians and cyclists with full segregation.
Existing ‘ghost islands’ in the centre of the carriageway will be removed, with green infrastructure installed along the corridor to act as a buffer between vehicles and cyclists. There will also be additional uncontrolled crossings installed to improve north-south access.
“This proposal is the final piece in the jigsaw needed to create a high-quality cycle route between Greater Manchester’s two most important economic centres,” said the council.
Subject to approval on 8 January, the council has budgeted £2.5m towards the project including around £1.7m of construction costs; the construction contract is likely to be procured through Greater Manchester’s framework.
Detailed designs are due to begin this month and will be presented in September, with procurement of a contractor expected by the end of this year. Works are set to begin in April 2020 and complete by December the same year.
Costs will be met through the Local Growth Fund with £100,000 of match funding from Salford City Council.