City cen­tre road­works could get a whole lot Worse

WARN­ING OVER PO­TEN­TIAL DIS­RUP­TION NEXT YEAR

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By JEN­NIFER WIL­LIAMS jen­nifer.wil­[email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @JenWil­liamsMEN

MANCH­ESTER city cen­tre is to be sur­rounded by a whole NEW se­ries of ma­jor road­works next year – prompt­ing warn­ings that the cur­rent dis­rup­tion will feel like a ‘walk in the park’ in com­par­i­son.

The coun­cil hopes to kick off a multi-mil­lion pound se­ries of road up­grades to the south and east of the city cen­tre, as well as at its heart, on Great An­coats Street.

A £4m scheme on Hyde Road will see work to widened the route at its ‘pinch point’ near Red­dish Lane, while an £8m up­grade will re­design the in­ter­change where Princess Park­way meets the edge of the city cen­tre.

The bulk of a £8.5m project to im­prove Great An­coats Street will also kick off next fi­nan­cial year, aimed at mak­ing pedes­trian links to the city cen­tre bet­ter and safer.

At the same time, how­ever, ma­jor works on Re­gent Road which are al­ready caus­ing mo­torists huge de­lays – are also sched­uled to carry on well into next year.

While the plans are aimed at ul­ti­mately eas­ing traf­fic flow in and out of the city cen­tre, that timetable has sparked con­cern. At this week’s meet­ing of the coun­cil’s neigh­bour­hoods com­mit­tee, which scru­ti­nises is­sues in­clud­ing high­ways work, Miles Plat­ting and New­ton Heath coun­cil­lor John Flana­gan warned that he had marked off at least four ma­jor schemes tak­ing place at the same time next year.

While not all of them would be run­ning along the ex­act same timescale, the ef­fects would still be se­vere, he warned.

“The big­gest cause of con­ges­tion is all the works – and it’s all next year,” he said.

“Three or four ma­jor schemes are go­ing to hap­pen next year where they’ll make Re­gent Road look like a walk in the park.”

He added that to the west of the city cen­tre, Ch­ester Road is also tak­ing more traf­fic due to knockon ef­fects of the Metrolink’s on­go­ing ex­ten­sion to Traf­ford Park.

Manch­ester town hall’s cap­i­tal pro­gramme for the next few years sug­gests the bulk of both the Great An­coats Street and Hyde Road schemes will take place in 2019/20, as well as the fi­nal few months of the Re­gent Road scheme that is al­ready caus­ing ma­jor de­lays. The Princess Park­way scheme is ex­pected, ac­cord­ing to the bud­get, to stretch from 2019 well into 2021. In re­sponse to Coun Flana­gan’s con­cerns, the coun­cil’s op­er­a­tional di­rec­tor of high­ways, Steve Robin­son, said he had raised a ‘re­ally im­por­tant point,’ one with which he agreed. The town hall was talk­ing to Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester about try­ing to sched­ule the road­works in a sen­si­ble way, he said. “We recog­nise that there’s a sig­nif­i­cant amount of work next year and that’s why we’ve al­ready been to have dis­cus­sions with TfGM about them do­ing spe­cific mod­el­ling, so that we can iden­tify what schemes we should move back,” he said. The coun­cil was hop­ing to ‘ma­nip­u­late’ the pro­gramme in or­der to ‘min­imise’ dis­rup­tion, he added.

Road­works on the Man­cu­nian Way

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