Transport for Greater Manchester has started work on a package of changes to bus routes across Manchester city centre, and has released a fly-through video to demonstrate the planned improvements.
TfGM and Manchester City Council's bus priority package is intended 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 co-ordinated three-year programme of works, known collectively as Grow, to future-proof the city's transport infrastructure.
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.
The city centre work is being carried out by Manchester Contracts on behalf of Manchester City Council and will be carried out in stages to minimise the impact on road users.
The first stage of work taking place this week will focus on Princess Street between Major Street and Richmond Street.
Major Street will be closed to vehicles from Monday 16 March until May.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM committee said: "Around a quarter of a million journeys are made in to the city centre every day and the number of people who visit the city is growing.
"We're working to make sure the transport network supports this growth, continuing to make Manchester a vibrant and prosperous city.
"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."
TfGM officers will be available at the following drop-in sessions to answer customer queries:
- Tuesday 3 March, 2-6pm, TfGM Online Shop, Piccadilly Gardens
- Thursday 5 March, 2-6pm, Congress Room, Mechanic's Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester