New lanes open to bring busway closer

A vehicle test on the guided busway
A vehicle test on the guided busway

A CONTROVERSIAL public transport scheme has taken another major step closer to being completed.

Work on the bus lanes along the East Lancs Road, which will form part of the £68m Leigh guided busway, finished on Wednesday December 3 wth all the traffic cones being removed after the morning rush hour.

The milestone means only the guided concrete track between Leigh and Ellenbrook still needs to be finished, but vehicle testing on completed parts of the route is already under way.

Buses started using the new lanes on Wednesday, speeding up journey times between Leigh and Manchester city centre.

A statement by service provider Urban Vision on its website said: “We are pleased to advise that the remaining traffic management on the A580 Lancashire Road will be removed (after morning peak hours) on Wednesday December 2 2015. The new traffic signals at Old Clough Lane will also be switched on.

“All lanes will be open and operating to capacity from approximately 2pm. Some localised off-peak traffic management may be required over the forthcoming week whilst final works are completed, however it is not anticipated that this will cause any delays.

“The traffic lights and signalised junctions will be closely monitored to ensure that the traffic signals are managing the traffic flows as well as possible.

“Once again we thank you for your co-operation during the times of disruption and delays and apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

The creation of the guided busway has been controversial, with huge protests from residents and commuters about the disruption to journeys into Manchester along the East Lancs Road and through Tyldesley and Astley.

However, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) hopes the project will eventually cut journey times into central MAnchester to around 50 minutes.