Transport for Greater Manchester has published details of improvements to a number of bus routes throughout Manchester city centre, ahead of a formal consultation to be launched later this month.
The bus priority package is expected to significantly improve the quality, punctuality and reliability of bus services on 25 miles of routes in Greater Manchester and across the city centre.
TfGM and Manchester City Council are writing to more than 500 people, who gave feedback during a summer 2013 consultation that has helped to shape the scheme.
The proposals aim to encourage more people to use bus services to travel more freely through the city centre. The plans also include improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.
The updated plans will be consulted on formally by Manchester City Council later in September, as the local highway authority through the statutory Traffic Regulation Order process.
Key changes to bus packages include:
- Improved access at all times to the Village and Chinatown areas by providing an alternative route from the south along Princess Street and into Major Street. This route will also be available when the bollards are in operation on a Friday and Saturday night
- A new access loop to provide improved access to the front of the Portland Hotel
- Better access for vehicles to the Village and Chinatown by allowing a right turn for southbound traffic from London Road into Fairfield Street (currently a banned manoeuvre)
- Improved pedestrian and cycling facilities on and across Portland Street
- Introducing two-way traffic on Princess Street and Brook Street between the Mancunian Way slip-off and Major Street to improve access in and out of the city
An interactive map and details of the schemes are available to view at www.tfgm.com/buspriority.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM committee said: "We've listened closely to what residents and businesses have had to say about the bus priority proposals and taken on board their concerns.
"We need reliable and frequent bus services that can run through the heart of the city centre free from congestion.
"Bus priority will improve access for residents and communities across Greater Manchester to key health services, as well as work, education and leisure opportunities."
Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "These are important proposals about the future of public transport in Manchester, and they sit alongside a range of other developments including the Metrolink Second City Crossing, the redevelopment of Victoria Station, and the Northern Hub project to improve rail links into the city centre, which are all aimed at boosting our economy while ensuring that our transport infrastructure is fit for a growing 21st century city."
Updated bus priority proposals for Oxford Road, which were also consulted on last year, will be announced next month.