£2m fund set to boost road safety in Manchester

Proposals to invest £2m in road safety schemes will be heard by Manchester City Council's Executive this week (Wednesday 17 March).

The funding has been made available as part of the council’s ongoing five-year, £100m Highways Improvement Programme and will be invested in the coming financial year (2021/22).

Half of the funds will be spent on accident reduction schemes across the city, with priority determined through a scoring system developed using principles established by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).  Accident data will be used to help establish a list of sites in priority order, with other factors including the volume of traffic in the surrounding area and existing local speed limits also assessed.

The second £1m will be used to deliver local community safety schemes, with funds split equally between the north, central and south areas of the city.  The schemes delivered will be those classed as the highest priority within local communities, with support in the decision-making process provided by the city council’s design team.

The fund is intended to be spread across the city, providing measures for the widest possible range of locations.  Examples of the types of interventions which could be funded include new traffic signs, bollards, planters, carriageway build-outs and changes to speed limits, or other local traffic orders.  The council is also expecting to complete a project to invest more than £6m in school crossings improvements across the city during 2021/22.

The £100m Highways Investment Programme began in 2017 and has since involved the repair of hundreds of roads and footways across the city every year, plus inspection and repairs across the city’s network of 116,000 gullies. Work is being carried out in every ward of the city, prioritised according to the existing condition of the road surface.  

In 2020/1 alone, more than 750,000 m2 of roads and footways have been resurfaced through the programme, which is the equivalent of 107.5 football pitches in area, or a length of more than 85 miles, the distance from Manchester Town Hall to Bowness-on-Windermere, in the Lake District.  More work is planned for the Old Moat, Northenden, Woodhouse Park wards and on Barlow Moor Road from next month.   

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “Manchester residents have told us that keeping our roads in good condition is one of their top priorities, which is why we are seeking to improve every aspect of our roads through the current £100m investment plan.  But as well as improving the standard of highways and footways, we also want to improve safety for local families, which is why we’re creating this new £2m fund for improvements for neighbourhoods right across the city. 

"We're determined to play our part in reducing accidents but must stress that while this fund will make a difference, road safety is not something the council can solve for the city on its own.  We need everyone to play their part by obeying the rules of the road and taking care of themselves and others when travelling in the city."

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