Work on the first phase of the proposed £13.4 million new walking and cycling route from Manchester city centre to Chorlton is set to start later this year.
A public consultation about the scheme – part of the ambitious city-region wide Beelines project – found that around 70 per cent of more than 1,800 responses were supportive of the route’s development.
It will begin with the construction of the Chester Road to Stretford Road section of the route, including the creation of an innovative CYCLOPS junction at Royce Road – an orbital cycle route separating cyclists from motor traffic and providing more space for pedestrians, reducing the possibility of collisions or conflicts with traffic.
Engagement events will be held for local residents and businesses prior to the start of work, expected before the end of 2019.
The Stretford Road to Seymour Grove section of the route will now be progressed to a detailed design stage, with the Brooks Bar junction design being subject to a review of its potential impact on the local road network, in line with comments received in the consultation.
Plans for the sections of the route stretching from Seymour Grove to Hardy Lane are to be reviewed, in response to comments received from residents and Chorlton businesses. Work on this part of the route is provisionally due to start in summer 2020.
An overall review of the impacts on parking along the route will be carried out to identify potential parking mitigation measures, a process which will continue throughout the development of the scheme.
Proposed one-way streets at Ollerton Avenue and Ashley Avenue are to be removed from the plans, in response to concerns raised by residents.
The new route is being proposed by Manchester City Council, the One Trafford Partnership, Transport for Greater Manchester and Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner Chris Boardman, with funding from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund and the government’s Cycle Cities Ambition Grant.
“The response to the consultation on the proposals for this ambitious new walking and cycling way was huge and it’s great to know that the majority of responses were really positive,” said Councillor Angeliki Stogia.
“This is clearly a project that people want to see and which will support the city’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2038 at the latest.
“Work will now proceed on the first phase of the scheme, which will include a new CYCLOPS junction. And having listened to what local residents and businesses have had to say, there are parts of the original scheme which we will now revisit, in order to ensure that this is a route which works for the whole community.”
Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “I’m thrilled that the first phase of works will begin before Christmas. Royce Road will be the first junction if its kind in the UK to use an orbital cycle route that separates cyclists from motor traffic, making it safer for all users.
“Chorlton to Manchester has the potential to be a world-leading cycling and walking route and I know that when complete it will be transformational, enabling thousands more people to leave their cars at home.”
Beelines, the biggest network of its kind in Britain, promises 1,800 miles of cycling routes costing £1.5 billion over ten years.