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Public consultation opens next week into overhaul of busy thoroughfare as part of TfGM's Bus Priority scheme...

Transport for Greater Manchester is planning to introduce segregated cycle lanes along a one-mile stretch of the city’s busy Oxford Road, under proposals for a major revamp of the thoroughfare that will be open for public consultation from next Wednesday 22 May until Wednesday 26 June.

The scheme, which forms part of TfGM’s Cross City Bus Priority initiative, aims to give precedence to buses, pedestrians and cyclists along Oxford Road and includes bust stop islands with a cycle lane running behind them, similar to those that Transport for London plans to install as part of its revamp of Stratford High Street.

TfGM says that it intends to restrict access to some sections of Oxford Road to buses, taxis, emergency vehicles and bicycles, the latter using Dutch-style cycle lanes, while junctions and road crossings will be improved for pedestrians, who will also get wider pavements.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM’s Committee said: “With traffic levels rising, it’s crucial that we make sure people can easily get around our city by more sustainable transport – in this case, by bus, bike or on foot.

“The bus priority package is one of the largest investments in the Greater Manchester bus network in decades.

“Giving buses priority will allow bus operators to introduce services that cross through the city centre free from traffic, without need for passengers to change service.

“Oxford Road is one of the busiest bus routes in Europe and we want it to offer a European style travel experience, not just for bus passengers, but pedestrians and cyclists.

“I encourage everyone who lives, works in or travels through our city centre to take a look at these plans and have their say.”

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, added: “The city is growing and we need to make sure that our transport system supports this growth.

“These plans will boost investment along the routes and support emerging business and commercial centres. They allow full access to businesses along the route and general traffic will be accommodated on other parallel routes.

“The changes we are proposing are essential to delivering a more sustainable transport system connecting people with employment, education, health, leisure and shopping and providing real alternatives to the car.”

Details of the consultation will be available online from next Wednesday 22 May, and leaflets will also be distributed within Manchester city centre and to 40,000 properties in the area affected.

Recently, Transport for Greater Manchester submitted its bit for £20 million of Cycle City Ambition funding towards its Vélocity 2025 project. Here’s a short video of its plans.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.