Plans to upgrade key Greater Manchester route announced - full details including a new cycle lane

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The plans are set to be in line with the Bee Network ambitions for Greater Manchester

Plans to upgrade transport links between Greater Manchester towns have been announced by Transport for Greater Manchester. The work is set to be carried out between Oldham and Rochdale.

The initial part of the work will be on the A671 in Rochdale. Included in this is a new bus lane, improved bus stops and a new segregated cycle track with pedestrian and cycle crossing points. 

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In addition to this, there are also plans for a ‘quiet route’ for cyclists. This consists of a route with very light traffic and low speeds which riders can safely share with motor vehicles - improved junctions with better placed stop lines, pedestrian islands and signal timings to help buses get through quicker.   

The Rochdale proposals form part of a wider scheme which focuses on the bus corridor through Rochdale Royton, Oldham and Ashton town centres on the A671 and A627 used by the 409 bus service.  full details of the plans for Rochdale are below: 

  • Improved bus stops along the corridor, to help people access the bus network.  
  • Relocation of the existing inaccessible High Level Road bus stop (southbound) to the existing entrance to Ainsworth St; and the removal of Ainsworth St southbound bus stop.  
  • A new northbound bus lane on Oldham Road (A671) from Queen Victoria St to the south of the junction (opposite Charter St) to help buses get to the front of the traffic queue. 
  • Improved road design at junctions on Oldham Road A671 with Wood Street; Durham Street/Crawford Street; Kingsway/Queensway; and Broad Lane with better placed stop lines, pedestrian islands, and signal timings to help buses get through quicker.  
  • A new cycle track separate from motor vehicles northbound and southbound on Oldham Road (A671) from Drake Street to Gordon St (northbound) and Healing St (southbound), with a pedestrian and cycle crossing point at Healing Street.  
  • A ‘Quiet route’ for cyclists from Gordon St/Hurst St (northbound) and Healing St (southbound) to Balderstone Park.  A quiet route is a road with low amounts of traffic and low traffic speeds where cyclists can safely share the road with motor vehicles.  
  • Improved cycle and pedestrian crossing points along the full corridor. 

The Rochdale plans from TfGMThe Rochdale plans from TfGM
The Rochdale plans from TfGM | TfGM

TfGM has outlined that the plans are to come as part of the Bee Network redevelopment of transport in Greater Manchester. A big aspect of this was to seek to make it easier to access and switch between different types of transport, from rail and Metrolink to cycling. 

Stephen Rhodes, Director of Bus at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “By making it easier for people to travel by bus or walk, cycle, and wheel, some people will choose to do this rather than use cars.      “This could mean less traffic for people who still prefer to use a car or have to use a car. Not only will this improve people’s experience of using buses, it will also help us to tackle some of the big challenges we face as a region, including congestion and poor air quality.  It will also support economic growth and regeneration and improve access to opportunities for everyone.”   Councillor Shah Wazir, cabinet member for highways at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “It will be really good to see major investment into this key route across our borough, which is used by huge numbers of our residents and businesses each and every day. 

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 “Our colleagues at TfGM are keen to engage with the community and all businesses and residents on the route will be contacted directly soon. In addition, the planned dropped in sessions will give people the chance to discuss these proposals in detail and I would encourage people to get along and find out more.” 

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