£14m spend includes bus priority for Greater Manchester
Plans to improve Greater Manchester’s bus, cycling and walking routes could move a step closer with leaders set to approve almost £14m in funding to develop and deliver schemes across the region.
Building new infrastructure is key to supporting the Bee Network, Greater Manchester’s vision for an integrated ‘London-style’ transport system joining together buses, trams, rail, cycling and walking.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will meet on Friday (27 January) to consider backing a range of proposals which will be delivered using local and national funding.
They include schemes being funded, either in whole or in part, from Greater Manchester’s £1.07bn share of the Government’s £5.7bn City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS).
Supported by £170 million in local contributions, the CRSTS represents major investment in local roads, bus, train and tram services over the next four years.
New quality bus corridors, cycling and walking routes are proposed, alongside improved transport infrastructure and connectivity for towns and high streets.
Within this latest set of schemes to be brought forward is the Bus Pinch Points and Maintenance (BPPM) programme, one of several CRSTS-funded schemes due for approval by the GMCA.
The BPPM programme aims to enhance passenger journey times, journey time reliability and accessibility through a mixture of delivering low-cost interventions and providing existing maintenance, including:
- Targeting pinch points on strategic bus routes experiencing delays or poor reliability through minor improvements to the highway and bus network
- Providing improved passenger waiting facilities and raised kerbs for level boarding and alighting at bus stops, including improved access to and from the stop
- Improving access to real-time information at key points on the network
- Ensuring lines and signage on the network are well-maintained
- Enhancing intelligent traffic solutions to provide optimised signals, monitoring and improved information for bus and wider public transport customers
A report to the GMCA recommends the drawdown of £5.1m from CRSTS funding to develop and deliver the first tranche of BPPM schemes until 31st March 2024.
The report also asks leaders to release £4.5m in CRSTS funding to progress plans to refurbish the Manchester Street Viaduct in Oldham.
Oldham Council will oversee the project which will minimise ongoing maintenance requirements to allow the public to continue using it for the next 25 to 30 years.
The report seeks a further £300,000 to develop plans for a junction improvement scheme at Topp Way and Higher Bridge Street in Bolton, which will improve pedestrian and cycle access to Bolton town centre by reallocating road space.
Plans to build a new railway station at Golborne could also move a step closer with just over £340,000 requested to further develop proposals for the scheme.