"It's so important to get this right - to have a strategy ready for the future, which will help us recover from Covid-19 and make sure that we meet our goals to save our planet by becoming a net zero city." Councillor Marcus Johns
Councillor Marcus Johns

The Council is now consulting on a new transport strategy for Manchester City Centre which will map out our shared transport vision until 2040.

It establishes a clear priority of different transport users:

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Public Transport like metrolink and rail
  4. Private motor vehicle traffic

It has seven overarching ambitions:

  • a more attractive city centre for walking
  • a cleaner and less congested city centre
  • more people choosing to cycle to destinations within the city centre
  • better public transport connections
  • smarter parking and more integration with other transport modes
  • sustainable and efficient delivery of goods to and within the city centre
  • embracing innovation where it benefits city centre residents and people who work and visit

The draft strategy was based on a conversation between the Council, residents, local Councillors, and people who work and visit the city centre in 2018. It has been developed since, and revised in light of the need to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and our goal for Manchester to become a net zero carbon city by 2038 at the latest, which became a goal in 2019.

Let us know what you think in our very short survey at the bottom of this page. You can share more detailed thoughts and views on the strategy with the Council, as well as see details of some proposed projects–including making Traffic Free Deansgate permanent or better walking and cycling between Deansgate, Whitworth Street West, and the Northern Quarter–at: www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations.

Councillor Marcus Johns said: “Transport is important in everything we do – from going to the shops, getting deliveries, meeting friends out for drinks, or going to work. It affects our health too, mainly because of congestion and pollution.

“That’s why it’s so important to get this right – to have a strategy ready for the future, which will help us recover from Covid-19 and make sure that we meet our goals to save our planet by becoming a net zero city.

“It’s really important that the strategy reflects the needs and ideas of everyone who lives in the city centre. So, we would encourage all city centre residents to have their say on the future of where we live.

“Only by working together on our vision for the future can we keep building a safe, green, and pleasant city centre where we can all enjoy our lives.”

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “As Manchester continues on the road to recovery from the pandemic and plans for growing numbers of city centre jobs and homes, more than ever, a strategy is required to guide the future of transport in the region’s capital.

“This ambitious strategy envisions a well-connected, zero-carbon city centre at the heart of the North, offering residents, workers and visitors a great place to live, work and visit.

“It reflects the thousands of voices — including residents, commuters, and business and interest groups — who’ve contributed to years of discussion and consultation about how they want to travel into and around the city centre.

“What’s emerged is a strategy that reflects the strongest calls – for more and better space for pedestrians and bikes, more sustainable travel options that keep the air clean and cut carbon, less congestion, improvements in public transport, parking and deliveries that don’t choke our streets and air, plus smart use of new technology to help make all of this happen.

“We’re excited to invite everyone to get on board and have their say on this bold, environment-enhancing strategy for a cleaner, sustainable, inclusive Manchester.”

The draft strategy is aligned with wider efforts across Greater Manchester to develop recovery strategies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting a strong and sustainable recovery for the city.

It proposes fresh investment in creating more attractive walking routes and public spaces, making it safer and easier to cross streets and catering for everyone, no matter what their age or mobility needs.  New investment would build on the successful transformation of St Peter’s Square and Albert Square improvements, currently taking place.

A key proposal is to permanently make the Deansgate closure more attractive street for pedestrians (subject to a specific project consultation). It presents a wider vision about how the city centre’s cycle network can be enhanced, to help the growing numbers of people who travel into and around the city by bike – with projects including the Northern Quarter Beeline and the new Manchester to Chorlton cycling and walking route being build now.

The number of polluting private vehicles entering the city centre has fallen in the last decade and the vision is for this to continue falling. Where trips by cars or goods vehicles are necessary, efforts will be made for them to be cleaner, lower-polluting vehicles, in line with the region’s commitments to improve air quality and build our net-zero carbon future.

This strategy sits within the 2040 Greater Manchester Transport Strategy – aiming for 50 per cent of all journeys in the region to be taken by walking, on bike, or on public transport.

90 per cent of 3,700 respondents to the 2018 conversation exercise talked about air quality as an important issue, while 80 per cent wanted to see improvements to public transport, cycling and walking as the best way to reduce air pollution.  Around 70 per cent said reducing traffic levels would be the best way to create a high-quality city centre.

The 2010 City Centre Transport Strategy saw successful schemes delivered like the Second City Metrolink crossing, Oxford Road bus lanes and high quality cycleway, the redevelopment of St Peter’s Square and the Ordsall Chord scheme between Salford and Manchestrer to provide a direct rail connection between Piccadilly and Victoria stations – with the beautiful rustic bridge built in Castlefield.

Don’t forget to tell us what you think below!

Find out more at: https://www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations

City Centre Transport Strategy 2020

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