Transport for Greater Manchester has released a fly-through video to demonstrate planned improvements for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians along Oxford Road.
The scheme – which will limit general traffic along sections of Oxford Road and include over 4km of segregated bus lanes – is part of a wider bus priority package to improve the quality, punctuality and reliability of bus services on 25 miles of key routes in Greater Manchester.
The updated plans will include 'Dutch-style' cycle lanes along the bus priority corridor.
TfGM said that more than 2,000 comment were received during the summer as part of a consultation to shape the scheme.
Changes to Oxford Road include:
- Opening up Oxford Road to general traffic overnight from 9pm until 6am, seven days a week. Outside these hours sections of Oxford Road will be available for use by buses, taxis (hackney cabs), emergency vehicles and cycles only.
- Extensions to the 'Dutch-style' cycle lanes at two locations along Oxford Road – alongside Whitworth Park and at the University Precinct opposite the Kilburn building.
- Providing zebra crossing points at all bus stops where there are Dutch-style cycle lanes so that pedestrians can cross the cycle lanes safely.
- Introducing service loops along Oxford Road to ensure that key facilities such as the hospitals, the universities and other businesses have the access they need.
- Removing the proposed bus lane on Booth Street West in order to maintain two lanes for general traffic crossing Oxford Road.
As the proposals require changes to parking, loading and waiting restrictions, the next step is for Manchester City Council, as the local highway authority, to advertise the Traffic Regulation Orders through a formal statutory process. The advertisement of the orders will begin on 1 December and run for 21 days.
Before any changes can be made to Oxford Road, Princess Street will become two-way between the Mancunian Way and Major Street. This will provide a direct route into and out of the city centre for all road users.
There will also be updated signage introduced on routes further out of Manchester city centre to help motorists find the best route to their destination.
The bus priority scheme has been developed as part of the overall transport strategy for the city centre, which includes plans the Metrolink second city centre crossing.