Work on the Great Ancoats Street improvement scheme is set to start on Monday 13 January.
The scheme is the first of a number of projects designed to provide long-term improvements to Manchester’s travel infrastructure which will be brought forward in 2020.
The £9.1m Great Ancoats Street scheme, which will take around 12 months to complete, will improve the look and feel of the area for pedestrians, providing a more natural and attractive link for people wishing to walk between the city centre and the burgeoning Ancoats and New Islington neighbourhoods.
New crossing facilities are to be installed over the busy road - which is part of the city’s Inner Ring Road and averages more than 37,000 vehicle journeys per day - making it easier to cross and reducing the risk of accidents.
The scheme, which has received funding support from the Greater Manchester Growth Deal and does not create any extra capacity for traffic, includes the planting of more than seventy trees, decluttered, wider pavements and redesigned, clearer signage for simpler navigation - making the area a natural extension of the city centre.
The work will take place in phases, between Oldham Road at its junction with Marshall Street and Cornell Street and along Great Ancoats Street as far as the Metrolink stop at Pollard Street.
The first phase of the work will involve a lane closure either side of the existing island on Oldham Road near to the junction of Great Ancoats Street. Traffic flow will be maintained in both directions and diversions will not be required. This phase of the project is due to start on Monday 13 January and run until mid-February 2020. Working hours are 7.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, for this phase.
Two new walking and cycling routes which will run parallel to the Inner Ring Road are also currently being brought forward, with funding support from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund. The schemes will provide safer alternatives to cycling on the Inner Ring Road, while maintaining traffic flow to deter vehicles from ‘rat-running’ onto residential streets.
A public consultation on the £11m Northern Quarter cycling and walking route - which will run between Victoria and Piccadilly train stations via the thriving Northern Quarter - is already underway and open until mid-February, while a consultation for the £4.2m Eastern and Northern Gateway scheme is set to begin in early 2020. The Eastern and Northern Gateway scheme will connect the neighbourhoods of Ancoats, New Islington, New Cross, New Town, Redbank and the Green Quarter, creating a high-quality, continuous walking and cycling route for the north and east city centre fringe.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This improvement scheme for Great Ancoats Street will deliver a more attractive, tree-lined route, with wider pavements and better crossings allowing pedestrians and people on bikes to cross the busy inner ring road more safely.
“With two parallel schemes to create dedicated walking and cycling routes also moving forward, this scheme is part of a bigger push to make our city centre a safer, cleaner space, where walking and cycling are seen as natural travel options for as many people as possible.
“Our traffic plans will keep vehicles out of nearby residential neighbourhoods and provide safer routes for people walking and cycling across the city centre, while making it easier to get to Ancoats and New Islington from the city centre on foot or by bike.”
Peter Boulton, TfGM’s Head of Highways, said: “Without a doubt, the transformation of some of the city’s key routes provides a real opportunity to improve journeys for millions of people in the long run.
“To help people get around while the work is carried out, we’ve been working closely with our council colleagues to develop travel advice for each of the upcoming schemes.
“While the work takes place, we’d advise those that uses Great Ancoats Street to visit our new travel advice hub, to plan their journeys and explore alternative modes of travel.”
The new TfGM Travel Advice pages can be found by visiting tfgm.com/traveladvice.
For more information about the scheme, go to www.manchester.gov.uk/greatancoats.
The Great Ancoats Street scheme will be the first of several projects due to start in the coming weeks, to improve Manchester’s highways infrastructure for the long-term future. To find out more, go to www.manchester.gov.uk/improvements.