This consultation is now closed.
The Northern Quarter Area 4 project is part of a wider cycle and walking scheme creating a city centre cycle route connecting Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations. One of the aims of the route is to make the Northern Quarter even more attractive and pleasant to use for pedestrians and cyclists. The proposals are split across four areas within Manchester City Centre:
- Area 1: Piccadilly Station to Hilton Street;
- Area 2: Stevenson Square;
- Area 3: Thomas Street;
- Area 4: High Street to Victoria;
The first consultation about the Shudehill and Withy Grove section took place in late 2019 and early 2020 with more than 600 people taking part. In spring of 2021 we put forward a provisional design which has now been changed in response to the more than 130 comments received.
The benefits of the improvements overall in the area will be:
- Cycle tracks, making cycling through the area easier and safer
- Re-routing general traffic away from narrow streets to make city centre streets more pedestrian friendly spaces
- Review of how highway space works for all users
- Ensure access to business and public transport hubs are retained
- Improved footways and surfaces
- Additional crossing facilities at traffic signals
- Better signalised crossings at junctions for pedestrians and cyclists
Features of the new plans
- For people on foot
- A better, signal-controlled crossing at the junction of Shudehill and Thomas Street to replace the narrow crossing and existing island. This will make it easier to walk to the Shudehill Interchange.
- The existing Zebra crossing at the junction of Withy Grove with Dantzic Street would be upgraded to a push-button Toucan crossing (allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross separately) with tactile signals.
- The junction of Corporation Street and Withy Grove would be provided with widened push-button pedestrian crossings with tactile signals. The crossing would be 4 metres wide, and pedestrians would cross separately from cyclists.
- For cyclists
- The latest plan has segregated cycle tracks in both directions along Withy Grove and Shudehill. There are currently no cycle facilities in this area apart from cycle parking stands. Cyclists are required to enter the junctions with traffic when they need to turn right, and there is no ability to cycle from Thomas St in the direction of Shudehill due to the one-way network. Cyclists are often seen cycling on footways, crossing or cycling in tram tracks and cycling through Cathedral Gardens to cycle to Salford and Deansgate. The new proposal should address these safety concerns, and also includes signalised cycle crossings at both the Shudehill and Cooperation Street junctions.
- A Toucan crossing (allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross separately) would also be provided to help cyclists turning right at Dantzic Street, replacing the existing Zebra crossing.
- For black cabs (hackney carriages)
- The existing hackney carriage rank will be retained.
- To prevent conflict with cyclists, a kerb build-out will be provided with entry and exit points at either end.
- The feeder taxi rank on Well Street will also stay, and hackney carriages will also be allowed to access the proposed bus gate on Corporation Street towards Withy Grove.
- For local businesses
- Loading facilities for the major business of the Arndale and Printworks on either side of Withy Grove will be retained, while smaller businesses on Withy Grove will still have use of have a designated loading bay on Withy Grove.
- For public transport users
- Two-way bus movements will be retained, and a bus gate will be put on Corporation Street southbound at its junction with Hanover Street, to avoid congestion which frequently causes public transport delays. The bus gate will allow buses, black cabs, cycles and other authorised vehicles through, but not normal traffic.
There are still some details of the design of the junctions at Corporation Street with Withy Grove, and Shudehill with Thomas Street, to ensure that all user type are catered for including tram movements through both junctions, which my change to ensure the junctions can still operate and are not over capacity.