Manchester City Centre Active Travel Scheme: Every detail of the finalised plan with work expected to start in the summer

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It’s a plan that will completely change how we walk, drive and cycle around Manchester city centre – and it’s now been finalised. 

Re-worked proposals for new cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across Manchester city centre have been set out, with work on the scheme is set to start this summer.

A long list of changes has been made to the plans following feedback from the public.

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It includes junction upgrades, more loading bays for businesses and a new bus stop. It comes as Manchester council aims for 90 pc of trips to the city centre during morning peak times to be made on foot, by cycle or on public transport by 2040.

Labour councillor Tracey Rawlins, executive member for environment and transport at Manchester council, said: “Transforming the way in which we get around Manchester is a key ambition of the council in the coming years. From a car-dominated model we want to encourage more people to walk, wheel or use public transport to get around.

“But in order to encourage this change we need to re-imagine the infrastructure across our city. By giving over more space to pedestrian and cyclists we hope to encourage a shift towards more environmentally friendly ways of travelling, as well as finding new ways to boost people’s health and wellbeing.”

Funding for the next phase of the city centre scheme has been secured from the government’s Active Travel Fund. The work will now see a new CYCLOPS junction designed to separate pedestrians and cyclists from traffic at Peter Street and Quay Street and new loading bays on the west side of Deansgate.

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Blue Badge parking will also be increased on this side of Deansgate together with pay and display bays. It comes after a public consultation on the initial proposals published last year received many responses including from businesses based in the city centre.

Some raised concerned about their customers not being able to park nearby and the impact this would have on business as well as access for deliveries. Others claimed it was getting harder for people with disabilities to park or be dropped off close to locations which they need to access in the city centre.

The council said access to all businesses, residences and services – including emergency services, deliveries and waste collection – will be maintained. The local authority made several changes following the feedback and also said it is looking at what else can be done to improve things for disabled people.

Other amendments to the scheme include changes to the junction at Great Jackson Street and Chester Road – which has now been included within the scope of this programme – increasing the radius of the junction to naturally slow vehicles, as well as adding a zebra and a Belisha beacon crossing. The cycle route will also now connect to the wider Chorlton cycling scheme.

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Some bus stops will also be moved including on Deansgate and Whitworth Street, New trees, shrubs and rain gardens, are also planned on Whitworth Street West, Old Deansgate and Chester Road as part of the upcoming work.

The changes made to the City Centre Active Travel Scheme are:

  • At the Junction of Peter St and Quay Street – a new cyclops (cycle optimised) type crossing arrangement will be introduced which will provide improved crossing arrangement for all users.
  • Loading bays have been added on the west side of Deansgate, just south of Quay Street; on the east side of Deansgate just south of Quay Street; and loading bay on the west side of Deansgate between St John Street and Camp Street has been added.
  • Blue Badge parking on the west side of Deansgate between Camp Street and Tonman Street has been increased from 4 to 6 bays, and five pay and display bays have been added.
  • On Camp Street, the loading bay has been moved over onto the south side.
  • A bus stop has been added on east side on Deansgate just north of Camp Street, featuring a bus stop bypass (which allows cyclists to pass buses safely while they are stopped, by going behind the area where people are getting on and off) with a zebra crossing over the cycle tracks.
  • At the junction of Deansgate with Liverpool Rd improvements will be made which consider a wider range of movements for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Deansgate between Whitworth Street West and Bridgewater Street is 2 lanes northbound. From Bridgewater Street to Liverpool Road there is a merge into one lane at the stop line (replacing the previous dual carriageway).
  • On Deansgate, the layout has changed for the cycle and pedestrian crossing, and this will be a new parallel crossing with a raised table.
  • The left turn from Deansgate onto Bridgwater Street will remain as it is currently (the previous proposals showed it as a banned movement).
  • On Chester Road the buildout between Gr Jackson Street and Old Deansgate is now larger than on previous plans. The new puffin crossing is only to the north of the cycle tracks, and there is a zebra crossing at the cycle tracks.
  • The junction of Great Jackson Street with Chester Road has now been included within the scope. As part of the junction improvements, the radius to the junction has been changed to naturally slow vehicles at that location with the addition of a zebra and Belisha beacon crossing, and the cycle route connect to the wider Chorlton scheme.
  • Sustainable drainage, in the form of trees, shrubs and raingardens, are proposed on Whitworth Street West, Old Deansgate and Chester Road.
  • The proposed bus stop on the east bound side of Whitworth Street has been moved down to a location just before the taxi rank starts.
  • The first bus stop as you turn left into Whitworth Street West from Deansgate will be a stop for rail replacement buses. There will be a zebra crossing to access the bus platform.
  • The proposed bus stop on the east bound side of Whitworth Street has been moved down to a location just before the taxi rank starts.
  • The west bound bus stop has been relocated and includes a bus by-pass on Whitworth Street West (which allows cyclists to pass buses safely while they are stopped, by going behind the area where people are getting on and off).
  • On Century Street – a section will be no entry between Trafford Street and Whitworth Street West).
  • On Albion Street the right-hand turn into Whitworth Street West will be for buses, hackney carriages and cycles only.On Whitworth Street West the cycle route now merges into the existing cycle lanes prior to the junction on Whitworth St West and Albion St

When will the work start?

The next phase of this scheme will be a Traffic Regulation Order consultation, which is the legal process to allow the works to progress. If this is approved, the works are due to start in Summer 2023.

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