Updated: Friday, 24th November 2017 @ 8:08am

Oxford Road's transformation FINALLY complete following 'pioneering' four-year project

Oxford Road's transformation FINALLY complete following 'pioneering' four-year project

| By Charlie Cocksedge

The four-year project to transform Oxford Road has finally concluded.

Boasting new bus facilities, ‘Dutch-style’ cycle lanes, improved pedestrian spaces and better public transport links, TfGM have called Oxford Road a ‘real benchmark for highway design in the city.’

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, is amongst the many officials who are celebrating the result by praising the ‘monumental scheme’ and ‘pioneering project’.

He said: “My office is on Oxford Road and I have seen for myself just how many people are taking to two wheels now the new infrastructure is in place. The cycling facilities are second to none and it’s most definitely a cleaner and greener gateway into the city centre.

“Looking ahead, I hope that we are able to deliver more schemes like this to give people real choice around their transport options.”

One of the most notable improvements to Oxford Road are the new cycle lanes, which are separated from the road, making it easier and safer to travel along this busy commuter route.

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “It’s a fantastic piece of infrastructure which I hope we’ll be able to replicate in many other parts of the region.”

He further explained: “The cycle lanes are really important – they were designed in close consultation with walking and cycling groups, creating segregated lanes to make a safer and ultimately more appealing space for everyone.

“This is the kind of thing that will get more people out of their cars and onto their bikes and so I hope to see many more schemes like this going forward.”

SAFETY: Chris Boardman has praised the improved cycling lanes 

Along with the Leigh to Ellenbrook guided busway, Oxford Road forms a key part of the wider £122 million Bus Priority Package – a five year programme that set out to deliver quicker and more reliable bus journeys for thousands of people each day.

The guided busways have been open since April 2016, and sees 50,000 passenger journeys made each week, with that figure steadily growing.

Elizabeth Tasker, Managing Director at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “These positive changes on Oxford Road will make access to public transport more streamlined and efficient for the customers using this road.

“The improvements have helped to ease congestion issues and highlight the need for the council to implement further investment into other core public transport corridors.”

Oxford Road is one of Europe’s busiest bus routes, with a rate of over one per minute during peak times.

It is the main connection between the city centre and several of the city’s major institutions, including Manchester Royal Infirmary, the University of Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, and the Christie Hospital in Didsbury.