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VIDEO: Final stages of Manchester’s Oxford Road safety overhaul

A better space for bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians say senior councillors

Manchester’s Oxford Road will receive a totally new look and safety measures in a new, permanent change to improve transport for bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s bus priority project will see the controversially dangerous road fitted out with a new surface, kerb to kerb, between Hathersage Road and Denmark Road in a three-day operation starting on 6 June.

The work is part of a £122 million programme to deliver faster bus journeys to, from and through the city centre with more punctual and reliable services.

The Oxford Road scheme, started in 2014, will ultimately see a bus and cycle-only corridor created between Hathersage Road and Grosvenor Street, to be introduced in phases as the work progresses.

New-style bike lanes will allow cyclists to be safely separate from buses, with floating bus stops, allowing riders to cycle ‘behind’ the stop, rather than around them.

The new coloured cycleway will have pedestrian crossing points, including a zebra style crossing, following a successful trial opposite Whitworth Park last year.

More than 140 new trees are being planted, including exotic species not usually found on British streets such as Japanese cherries, sweet gum trees and gingko.

Once the roadworks are completed on 9 June general traffic heading into the city on Oxford Road will be unable to travel past this point between 6am and 9pm and will instead be permanently rerouted, turning right on to Hathersage Road.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This work will completely transform Oxford Road, making it a much more pleasant space for everyone.

“While these improvements to the public space are long-lasting and to be welcomed, the real purpose of what we are doing is to support the economy and the community by improving connections for people and offering more travel choices and for work, education, leisure or healthcare.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Oxford Road is one of the city’s busiest routes and a better environment for pedestrians, improved cycle infrastructure, better bus routes and good alternatives for cars will make travelling the route safer and more enjoyable for all road users.

“To encourage more people to get on a bike, we need innovative cycle ways that make cycling truly viable for any ability – but these improvement works represent a wider ambition to create a range of different options for travel across the city.”

We reported back in February how in the city centre, additional bus priority work is currently underway on Portland Street, while further roadworks have been caused by the sinkhole that opened up in the Mancunian Way in August. The ongoing traffic disruption has led Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, to suggest that bus lanes are making travel times slower for ‘everybody’.

Stringer believes motorists should be permitted to use bus lanes in the short term and wants to see a full review of whether they should be used at all. Councillor Kate Chappell, executive member for the environment, was however quick to point out that nearly two thirds of commuters travel into the city centre on public transport and suspending bus lanes would therefore have a significant detrimental effect on a large number of people.


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Eric D | 8 years ago

Note that this 'cycle superhighway' scheme is internally branded as 'BusPriority'! - for comparison.
The 'Bikes turn right' lane needs 'Give Way' triangle and double-dotted lines where it rejoins the carrriageway. Come to think of it - is that going to work at all ? Make the crossing another Toucan ?
I think you'll find you need a hard kerb to stop buses encroaching into the 'advisory' cycle-lane.
Or build out the island to protect the cycle lane?
A painted dashed line will get cyclists killed - 'BusPriority', remember!
The 'Give Way' triangle should be unnecessary, and would need double-dotted lines, too.

On the other hand, there is a hard kerb just where the cyclist is 'taking the road'!
Generally, I would say right turns are poorly thought-out!

If the cyclists in the road are turning right, it is very badly done! eg positioning
Are they only in the model to say 'Cyclists can legally get in the way' ? BusPriority? Conflict!
Why is the central kerb built-in to narrow the cycle-lane?

Generally inconsistency is bad - zebras or cycle-priority pedestrian crossings ? (Confusing for blind pedestrians?)
Who has priority: cyclists going ahead or cars turning left ? (esp. B6469 Whitworth St W)
'13 of 14 bus-stops are bypassed' - cycle lane just becomes a bus-stop ! - is that a bus-park, instead of a bus-stop?

Fragments of good infrastructure can be worse than none ...

severs1966 | 8 years ago

I see that the design continues, as is the norm in the UK, to throw bike riders to the lions at every junction.

The designers have steadfastly refused to create proper junction treatments, and are sticking with the completely discredited ASL.

Bus stop bypasses are welcome though. I wonder if, and how, the daytime private car bans will be enforced?

fukawitribe replied to severs1966 | 8 years ago

severs1966 wrote:

I see that the design continues, as is the norm in the UK, to throw bike riders to the lions at every junction.


I see that you and I, and perhaps a few early Christians, differ in what we consider bad enough to compare to being thrown to the lions. At "every junction".

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