Hyde Road improvement plans set to move forward after public consultation

A scheme to tackle a notorious pinch point on one of Manchester’s major traffic routes is set to begin in January 2020, after a public consultation exercise revealed broad support for its aims.

The Hyde Road scheme will remove an existing former rail bridge over the A57, allowing extra lanes to be added - addressing a long-existing congestion issue in the Gorton area.  
The consultation exercise attracted 284 responses from the public, with only 18.3 per cent of respondents saying that they either disagreed or slightly disagreed with the proposals.  

The scheme is expected to start in January 2020 and be completed by winter 2020/21.  The old bridge will be removed at the start of the programme, with the work taking place over a weekend to minimise disruption. 

The old bridge, which forms part of the Fallowfield Loop cycling and walking route, will be replaced by a new shared-usage bridge, while an existing pedestrian crossing on the affected part of Hyde Road will be upgraded.  
In response to comments received through the consultation, the council has amended the work programme, in collaboration with contractors Eric Wright, to reduce the time during which the bridge will be inaccessible from approximately 12 months to around four months.  Signposted diversions will be put in place for those cycling and walking in the area, while new lighting and CCTV cameras will be installed in the area, to improve security. 

An additional set of access steps which were proposed in the original plans will not be progressed, after it was established that amending the plans to make the proposed steps fully accessible for wheelchair and buggy users was unfeasible, due to the amount of privately-owned land which would have had to be purchased to create the required ramp.  

Through the consultation, local residents raised concerns about additional motorist ‘rat-running’ onto local roads during the work.  To address this issue, temporary road closures at Woodland Road and Dean Road will be put into place during the work, with access maintained for residents throughout.  An island is also to be added on Tan Yard Brow, to prevent motorists from ignoring signs which forbid a right turn onto Hyde Road at this junction.   

The scheme has been designed to treat a 300-metre stretch of the four mile-long Hyde Road and does not include a cycling element for this short section in isolation, after a bid for a GM Challenge Fund contribution was declined.  The design has incorporated space which could be used to create a cycle lane, in the event that a future ‘Bee Network’ scheme for Hyde Road is brought forward.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “Traffic congestion in this area has been a longstanding problem, due to the bottleneck caused at the existing bridge.  Queues of idling cars severely impact on air quality for local residents, which we need to tackle, while adding additional measures to combat ‘rat-running’ during the work.

“Having asked the public to have their say on this important scheme, we have taken the comments received on board, to shape the work in a way which minimises disruption and maximises the benefits for local residents and those travelling through the area, whether by car, or on foot or bike.  
“The Fallowfield Loop is an important cycling and walking route and we will work closely with our contractors to make sure that the new and improved bridge the scheme provides is opened as soon as possible within the programme, while we also plan to bring forward more work to enhance the Loop’s safety and accessibility.”

For more information, go to https://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/500344/roads_and_transport/7829/hyde_road_improvement_scheme.

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