A £9.1m scheme to improve Great Ancoats Street in Manchester city centre has started today.
The project, which is scheduled to take 12 months, is one of several designed to provide long-term improvements to Manchester’s travel infrastructure.
Once complete, it will include new crossing facilities, more than 70 trees, wider pavements, redesigned, clearer signage, and parallel cycle lanes.
Great Ancoats Street is part of the city’s Inner Ring Road and averages more than 37,000 vehicle journeys per day but a spokesperson from Manchester City Council said the newly designed road “does not create extra capacity for traffic”.
The work will take place in phases, between Oldham Road at the junction with Marshall Street and Cornell Street, and along Great Ancoats Street as far as the Metrolink stop at Pollard Street.
Funding for the scheme is made up of £8.8m from the Greater Manchester Growth Deal fund, plus an additional £300,000 for tree planting from the Manchester Salford Inner Relief Route Regent Road Growth Deal scheme.
The first phase will involve a lane closure either side of the existing island on Oldham Road near the junction of Great Ancoats Street. Traffic flow will be maintained in both directions and diversions are not required. This phase is due to start today and will run until mid-February.
The lead contractor on the project is Colas.
Executive member for the environment, planning and transport, Cllr Angeliki Stogia, said: “This improvement scheme for Great Ancoats Street will deliver a more attractive, tree-lined route, with wider pavements and better crossings allowing pedestrians and people on bikes to cross the busy inner ring road more safely.
“With two parallel schemes to create dedicated walking and cycling routes also moving forward, this project is part of a bigger push to make our city centre a safer, cleaner space, where walking and cycling are seen as natural travel options for as many people as possible.
“Our traffic plans will keep vehicles out of nearby residential neighbourhoods and provide safer routes for people walking and cycling across the city centre, while making it easier to get to Ancoats and New Islington from the city centre on foot or by bike.”
Other projects to improve infrastructure in Manchester that are set to get underway this year include the £13.4m Chorlton cycleway scheme and work to replace the existing Princess Road and Medlock Street roundabout.