Major works to reduce congestion on the ring road around Manchester and Salford city centres are already underway but a “further phase” expected to affect travel throughout the city have been announced.
Workers have already started on the site and are putting traffic management measures in place and conducting other preparatory works. It is anticipated that in the next few days Regent Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction and will remain so for the duration of the works.
Once completed the works will increase capacity at six key road junctions along what is known as the Manchester-Salford Inner Relief Route by up to 20 per cent – significantly reducing congestion and improving air quality. It will also help futureproof the inner relief road by ensuring it can support new jobs and economic growth in the two cities, avoiding the need for future works.
The work will also improve these junctions for cyclists and pedestrians through upgraded crossing facilities.
But there is no way to do this without a significant impact on journey times during the works, as Regent Road is temporarily reduced to one lane in each direction with a knock-on effect on nearby corridors including the M602 and Mancunian Way.
Drivers are being advised to make changes to their journeys now to be ready for the imminent delays.
Motorists who are using the city centre as a through route rather than it being their destination are being advised it will be quicker during the roadworks to use the M60 instead.
Others are being advised to allow extra time for journeys, especially at peak times or to use alternative modes of transport or travel outside peak periods if possible.
The improvement works, which are being carried out jointly by Manchester City Council and Salford City Council, are scheduled to last up to 12 months and are funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund. The scheme has been agreed as a Greater Manchester priority for reducing congestion.
The first phase of the works will deliver improvements at four junctions:
The junction of Dawson Street, Regent Road, Trinity Way and Water Street (Manchester)
The junction of Regent Road and Ordsall Lane (Salford)
The junction of Regent Road and Oldfield Street (Salford)
The junction of the Mancunian Way, the A56 (Chester Road) and the A5607 roundabout (Manchester)
A further phase, once works to these first four junctions has finished, will deliver improvements to another two junctions:
The junction of Trinity Way and Hampson Street (Salford)
The junction of Hampson Street, East Ordsall Lane and Middlewood Lane (Salford)
Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport for Manchester City Council, said: “Once completed these works will bring significant and lasting improvements to this busy route – cutting congestion, improving air quality and giving cyclists and pedestrians a better experience.
“As with all roadworks, there is no way to deliver these improvements without some delays and inconvenience in the short term. But it is possible for people to minimise, or even avoid, the impact on their journeys by planning ahead.
“Doing this work now will reduce congestion and delays once the works have been completed. That’s why we are working together with Salford City Council to address this comprehensive improvement package now.”
Councillor Roger Jones, executive support for transport at Salford City Council urged motorists to follow advice on alternative travel, other routes and staggered journey times where possible to try and minimise delays.
He said: “Manchester and Salford are fast growing cities and this route is struggling to cope now. We need these improvements to future proof this route. Unfortunately it will cause difficulties in the short term but it will avoid having to repeat work in the future.”