As GMITA tries to introduce as many of the schemes included in the failed TIF bid as possible without the funding boost congestion charging would have supplied, we've already seen a solid package of improvements announced.
One of these plans was for some of the cross-city bus routes detailed in the TIF bid to be implemented. Finally today we get to see exactly what's being suggested.
While GMITA can't force operators to run services that run through Manchester city centre and out to other parts of the city, it can make it easier for these services to exist. The current layout of the city centre discourages cross-city routes thanks to its complicated one-way systems.
So, what has GMITA come up with? A package of improvements to the following corridors:
• Boothstown to Manchester via the A580 East Lancashire Road and A6 Broad Street/Crescent/Chapel Street;
• Middleton Bus Station to Manchester via the A664 Manchester New Road and Rochdale Road; and,
• East Didsbury to Manchester via Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road/Street.
The TIF bid included bus routes between Chorlton and Middleton, East Didsbury/Withington and Salford Crescent and Wigan/Leigh and Manchester Central Hospitals. All these routes will be easier for operators to introduce if they choose if the plans go ahead.
Councillor Keith Whitmore, Chair of GMITA, said: “These are radical proposals that will provide a significant change in the way bus services operate through the Regional Centre.
“They will play a crucial role in improving the journey times and reliability of bus services for parts of Salford, Middleton, North Manchester and South Manchester that will, in turn, offer new and improved links to jobs, education, healthcare and leisure pursuits.
“By laying the foundations to encourage through-services to run we aim to make bus travel a more attractive, reasonable alternative to the car for these journeys.”
Here are maps of the planed improvements to bus lanes, bus gating and junction improvements, as well as pedestrian and cycle measures. Some sections of city centre roads will be made bus only. This includes parts of Lever Street and Princess Street receiving bus-only contraflow sections.
A public consultation on the schemes begins today. If approved, work will begin next year with planned completion in 2013. GMITA wants to hear your thoughts at www.gmpte.com/haveyoursay or by calling 0800 917 8808 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm).
Click on each map for a closer look.