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Video: Flythrough of Manchester's planned Oxford Road segregated cycle lanes

Plans to transform busy route into city centre revised following consultation

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has released a new flythrough video showcasing how the city’s first “Dutch-style” cycle lanes will look. The proposed lanes will be on Oxford Road, which is due to undergo a radical transformation as part of TfGM’s bus priority package.

The video incorporates changes that have been made following a major public consultation exercise held last year on the plans, which will see traffic other than buses, black cabs, emergency service vehicles and bicycles banned from much of Oxford Road. The images reveal that large sections of the planned cycle lanes will have physical segregation.

TfGM said it received more than 2,000 comments as part of the consultation, and has summarised the key changes it has made to the plans as follows:

Opening up Oxford Road to general traffic overnight from 9pm until 6am, seven days a week. Outside these hours sections of Oxford Road will be available for use by buses, taxis (hackney cabs), emergency vehicles and cycles only.

• Extensions to the ‘Dutch-style’ cycle lanes at two key locations along Oxford Road – alongside Whitworth Park and at the University Precinct opposite the Kilburn building.

• Providing zebra crossing points at all bus stops where there are Dutch-style cycle lanes so that pedestrians can cross the cycle lanes safely.

• Introducing service loops along Oxford Road to ensure that key facilities such as the hospitals, the universities and other businesses have the access they need.

• Removing the proposed bus lane on Booth Street West in order to maintain two lanes for general traffic crossing Oxford Road.

It added that areas close to Oxford Road such as Higher Cambridge Street, Lloyd Street North, Upper Lloyd Street and Claremont Road have already seen local schemes implemented to improve traffic flow and road safety.

Commenting on the revised plans, chair of the TfGM Committee Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “This is an exciting scheme that will revolutionise sustainable travel along one of the busiest routes into Manchester city centre, with better access to the universities, healthcare and businesses along the route.

“As well as speeding up bus journey times and improving cycling, pedestrians using Oxford Road will benefit from wider footpaths and safer crossing points along the route. 

“The plans have been shaped by input from local businesses, organisations and residents and balance the needs of all road users. Ultimately, the bus priority package will create a better environment and future for everyone who works in, lives in or visits our city.”

On its website, TfGM says that “the entire bus priority package will be up and running in 2015.”

In August last year, Greater Manchester was one of eight cities in England that were awarded funding under the DfT’s Cycle City Ambition scheme, receiving £20 million which will be added to by local match funding of £11.1 million. Its proposals are outlined below.

The funding will kick start Velocity 2025, which will, over time, create a city-wide cycle network. Initially, as part of the CCAG funding, this will involve a series of high quality cycle lanes that will lead from the city centre out to the M60 like spokes of a bicycle wheel.

Spokes will have a Cycle and Ride station located several miles from the city centre, allowing cyclists to leave their bikes and swap onto Metrolink or a local rail service for the last leg of their journey if they wish.

As part of a door to door approach the proposals involve the introduction of 20 mph zones in some residential areas adjacent to the cycle “spokes” to enable safer access to the cycleways.

Greater Manchester’s vision is to double the number of cycle journeys within 5 years and to double them again by 2025. The Government funding will bring 56km of new or improved cycle paths and predicted health and wellbeing savings of around £7 million a year.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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