Plans to boost Manchester city centre’s walking and cycling infrastructure have today (Thursday 19 December) been published, to allow the public to have their say.
The consultation period for a scheme which will create a route running between Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations via the thriving Northern Quarter, is open until Monday 17 February 2020.
The Northern Quarter walking and cycling improvement scheme includes new segregated lanes and signals for cyclists, resurfaced walkways and upgraded pedestrian crossings, a reduction in on-street parking, more trees and improvements to public spaces - including the partial pedestrianisation of Stevenson Square.
The plans, which can be viewed at www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations, include the removal and possible relocation of on-street parking bays from Dale Street, cycle segregation and protection on High Street and cycle lanes for both sides of Withy Grove. As part of the proposed scheme, no vehicles would be able to use Stevenson Square between Oldham Street and Newton Street to travel towards Piccadilly, with the existing stretch of highway being removed and a new cycle lane added note to editors - please see attached visualisation.
Thomas Street would become a pedestrian and cycle-only zone under the plans, except for loading permitted between defined times in the mornings and evenings, while traffic would be permitted to turn right from Shudehill to use a currently tram-only stretch of High Street.
A series of events will be held in January, to allow interested parties to view the plans and provide their comments in person.
The project is part of the proposed Greater Manchester-wide ‘Bee Network’, which will become the UK’s largest joined-up network for pedestrians and people on bikes. It is being funded thanks to a £10.6m contribution from the GM Mayor’s Challenge Fund, plus an additional £1m via a government Cycle Cities Ambition Grant.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “We believe that this plan for better walking and cycling links across the heart of the city centre will make the Northern Quarter’s streets more attractive, safer and greener, for everyone’s benefit.
"This is one of several new walking and cycling schemes we’re working on, with the support of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund and in accordance with Manchester's ambition to be a zero-carbon city by 2038.
“Now it’s key for everyone who wants to have their say, including city centre residents and local businesses, to give us their opinions on this hugely important scheme.”
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The Northern Quarter is already a bustling and dynamic hub of activity in the city centre and this scheme represents a real opportunity to enhance the experience and to encourage even more people to see what the area has to offer.
"These plans will make the area safer, greener and a more attractive place to be. I’d encourage people to get involved and give their feedback on how we can make the most of this area, for everyone that uses it.”