Transforming St Mary’s Way
A busy Oldham town centre road could be transformed with a multi-million pound scheme for improved walking and cycling routes and made greener with new planting.
Oldham council has been allocated £900,000 to develop detailed plans for how to make St Mary’s Way more accessible in the near future.
The authority says that currently, the road is an ‘imposing’ dual carriageway that cuts through the edge of the town centre and has ‘poor’ pedestrian and cycle links.
“The scheme at St Mary’s Way to the north of Oldham town centre will play a crucial role in supporting this regeneration by reshaping the highway link to provide better connectivity for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, and creating a high-quality public realm,” the report to cabinet states.
Making Oldham Greener
The total cost of the scheme will be £6m, which will be funded by the Department of Transport’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS).
The council is looking to deliver a scheme that will see road space along St Mary’s Way, between Henshaw Street and Yorkshire Street, being made greener through the planting of trees and shrubs.
The road will also become more pedestrian and cycling-friendly and allow easier access for public transport users.
Through the proposed scheme traffic and buses will use the northern half of the current dual carriageway to travel in both directions with the southern half re-purposed to include dedicated space for walking and cycling, as well as planting to make the area more attractive while assisting with drainage.
A two-way cycle track with priority over side roads, crossing points, widening of pedestrian paths and improved bus stop facilities will be installed.
Enhancing Connectivity and Accessibility
The proposed improvements are part of the wider vision to make the town centre easier to get around – Accessible Oldham – and ongoing regeneration schemes that will deliver more much needed homes and significant improvements, such as the Jubilee town centre park.
Council leader Arooj Shah told the cabinet meeting: “We’ve managed to secure £900k to develop plans for ah highways scheme at St Mary’s Way in the town centre.
“The scheme will build on the work of the Accessible Oldham programme which is currently being delivered across the town centre.
“It’s going to make our streets safe, and more accessible and it’s going to provide better transport to the north of the town centre and transform the public realm in preparation for the development of the new park.
“The scheme is going to reconfigure the highway on St Mary’s Way to incorporate a cycle line, which I’m sure people welcome, better pedestrian crossings at Henshaw, Lord and Rock Streets.”
She added: “I think this is another example of the council working really hard to transform our neighbourhoods for the residents of this borough and to make our town centre more accessible, and all-round nicer.
“This adds to all the exciting work that we’re already doing, and I welcome this and I think it’s a great success story for Oldham.”