Shortening journey times to Manchester

Leigh Guided Busway artists' impression
Leigh Guided Busway artists' impression

CONSTRUCTION work is about to begin on a major programme of improvements to bus services across Leigh.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has unveiled a whole raft of changes to the bus network to improve connections to the new guided busway which will slash journey times to the city of Manchester.

TfGM said work will start ‘imminently’ to carry out the improvements to bus services in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley, which are all expected to be finished by 2015.

The plans for Leigh will focus on shortening journey times between the bus station and the start of the guided busway route, with new bus lanes and priority measures being laid along Spinning Jenny Way and a new junction built where the road meets Chapel Street.

The proposals are intended to improve access to some of Leigh’s biggest retail attractions such as The Loom and Spinning Gates shopping centres, and improve facilities for pedestrians through the town centre.

Traffic flow through Atherton will be improved by widening Mealhouse Lane to put in a new eastbound bus lane, with work also being undertaken to improve several junctions along the road, which will include installing new pedestrian crossings.

Some of the biggest changes will occur in Tyldesley, where access to the guided busway route will be improved by creating a brand-new southbound route for buses only running between Stanley Street and Astley Street, with a new bus stop also being built along this route.

There will also be a contraflow system allowing buses to run in the opposite direction to general traffic, while the junctions of Astley Street and Elliott Street and Shuttle Street and Stanley Street will both be widened to allow buses to turn more easily.

The road on Elliot Street, Astley Street and Stanley Street will be raised, and any vehicles which are not buses will be restricted from entering the town square when they reach Stanley Street, The cobbled pavement next to the war memorial in the town square will also be altered.

The work is expected to be completed by 2015.