Described as one of Europe’s busiest bus corridors, Oxford Road in Manchester is being transformed. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Manchester City Council are working together on a makeover of the road as part of a £1bn package of city centre infrastructure improvements to be made by 2017. The work includes adding new bus lanes and stops, along with new segregated cycle lanes and ‘Dutch-style’ bike bypasses designed to safely separate cyclists from buses. At bus stops, instead of overtaking a bus, the rider can cycle ‘behind’ the stop, making it easier and safer for more people to use the route. The work is due to be complete in early September.
The changes are intended to deliver faster bus journeys and ensure services are more punctual and reliable. Changes to Oxford Road include the addition of bus gates, which are used to restrict general traffic access beyond a single point in the road so buses can operate more efficiently and punctually beyond them. They have been introduced between Hathersage Road and Denmark Road, with another one in place on Portland Street. To allow the construction to take place safely and efficiently, a temporary one way system has been introduced between Hathersage Road and Booth Street. During the temporary one-way traffic enforcement, working bus operators will also be using alternative routes and stops when travelling away from the city centre. The new cycle bypass lanes at bus stops, featuring coloured surfacing and pedestrian crossing points, including a zebra style crossing, inform riders, pedestrians and bus passengers of the layout so they are able to watch out for each other. Greater Manchester’s first lane like this was built opposite Whitworth Park last year as a trial and has been in use since.