Work on a new scheme to ‘radically improve’ two major city centre junctions for all road users is due to start next week.
A spokesman for Manchester City Council said the Princess Road / Medlock Street roundabout beneath the Mancunian Way is to be replaced by two new link roads, with new and improved crossings for people on bikes and on foot, to create a safer environment while improving traffic flow to reduce congestion.
Engagement events with residents were held in July to gather comments on the improvement works and the council has taken this feedback on board while finalising the scheme’s design.
The scheme has been designed to ensure that the area of green space known locally as Rockdove Gardens is retained, with extra green space adjacent to the gardens also set to be provided. The council will work with local residents on the landscaping of this new green space, while a landscape architect is also being tasked with including new “green screening” for residents, to further enhance the local environment.
In response to concerns about potential disruption, changes have been made to ensure that 80 per cent of the work will take place within the existing roundabout, minimising its impact on local people.
Following a final engagement event to share the good news with local residents on Friday 4 October, the main work is due to commence on October 8 after some initial works on Monday 7 October to secure the site, with the existing subways being closed off and signed diversions put in place. Traffic management will be required for this early work from Tuesday, with the inner lane of the roundabout and one lane on the approach from Princess Road being closed during off-peak hours, from 9:30am – 3:30pm on weekdays.
The scheme is part-funded by the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) and the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said:
“This important scheme will ease congestion and improve traffic flow at these busy city centre junctions, while removing the outdated underpasses and making sure that people who are walking or cycling have simpler, safer crossing points to complete their journeys more easily.
“We have listened to local residents who told us that it was vital to preserve Rockdove Gardens while delivering the wider benefits this scheme will provide. We have gone further and as well as preserving the existing green space, will make sure that it is extended. We look forward to working with residents on the landscaping of their new green area and to creating a better urban environment for everyone through this important project.”
Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said:
“The Princess Road roundabout is a key route into the city centre and this improvement has the potential to meet the standards of the Bee Network, alongside additional connecting routes, to enable more people to walk and cycle – as well as maintaining the primary function of the ring-road.
“Its early days in terms of the project and we will continue to work with the delivery team, but if we can get more people walking and cycling then it’s good for their health and helps to tackle congestion and poor air quality in Greater Manchester.”
Peter Boulton, TfGM’s Head of Highways, said:
“When complete, the Princess Road scheme will improve the performance of the junction for all road users and help to alleviate queuing at peak periods, which in turn will help to improve congestion on the edge of Manchester city centre. “While the work is being delivered by Manchester City Council, I’d urge anyone that travels in and around the area to check our website and follow us on Twitter for the latest travel advice.”
Also published on Medium.