TRANSPORT bosses have unveiled plans for the controversial guided busway to run through a revamped Tyldesley town centre.
An artist’s impression has been issued by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for a re-modelled Market Square to accommodate the major public transport scheme. Buses will travel from Atherton into Tyldesley and stop at Market Square, with the plans also including extensive landscaping work to alter the look of the square.
TfGM promised to look at alternative routes for the guided busway through Tyldesley after a public meeting last year revealed deep unhappiness about the proposals, but the organisation now says the Market Square plan is the only one which is viable.
Wigan Council leader Lord Smith said: “This scheme is all about improving Tyldesley to make it a more attractive town for residents, businesses and visitors, to help the area thrive now and for future generations.
“It will deliver many benefits to local residents and business-people as well as making it easier for people to get to local shops and businesses on state-of-the art buses running on a regular, reliable and affordable bus service. We’ve considered the alternatives closely and this is the only viable option for the busway to deliver the substantial benefits and better journeys for passengers.
“This major investment in our local market square goes hand-in-hand with the busway and would not be happening otherwise. I look forward to seeing substantial benefits.”
The busway will enter the town along Tyldesley Road before travelling along Shuttle Street and turning right onto Stanley Street to pick up and drop off passengers at the new Market Square stop.
A high-tech traffic light system on Elliott Street and Astley Street will assess the traffic flow to get as many people across the junctions as efficiently as possible.
Market Square will be partly re-paved and trees will be planted, with the water fountain being moved back to its original location outside the chapel after renovation work.
TfGM says this will double the amount of space in the square available for public events. More than 10,000 leaflets outlining the plans, answering questions and explaining the decision-making process which favours the Market Square proposal over other routes are being sent out to residents and businesses. However, the announcement has already provoked anger online, with one petition at change.org saying residents have been “stabbed in the back” by TfGM and Wigan Council.
Campaigner Sandra Robinson also announced her intention to stand as an independent candidate in the May council elections to voice public anger at the scheme.
More information about the busway, including copies of the leaflets, are available online at www.tfgm.com/buspriority