Tyldesley revamp work stepped up as part of busway plan

An artist's impression of the guided busway
An artist's impression of the guided busway
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WORK to revitalise Tyldesley town centre through improved transport links and a transformed market square will start this month following feedback from residents.

There will be some activity on the square from this Thursday as Wigan Council’s appointed contractor, North Midland Construction, prepares to start the major improvement scheme.

The Tyldesley market square investment goes hand-in-hand with Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) busway scheme to improve bus links between Tyldesley, Leigh and Atherton, through Salford and the heart of the city centre to Manchester’s Oxford Road.

Wigan Council considered 270 responses made by 112 people during the recent engagement, which included discussions with local businesses and two drop-in sessions for the local community to find out more about the proposals.

The main concerns raised by members of the public concerned car parking in the town centre, traffic flow and congestion within Tyldesley and the need for wider improvements to the town centre.

As a direct result of suggestions from members of the public, the council and TfGM have pledged to:

+ Carry out a review of town centre parking as soon as the busway is operational to make sure town centre car parking spaces are available for shoppers;

+ Review traffic flow and the operation of the new traffic lights in the weeks immediately following the start of the new busway services to make sure optimum traffic flow is maintained;

+ Scope how extra street landscaping, hanging baskets and benches can be added to the scheme to make sure the benefits of the scheme are felt beyond the market square;

+ Work more closely with all businesses, including the Tyldesley Town Partnership, to maximise the benefits of the investment in market square and promote Tyldesley as a destination for shoppers; and

+ Explore additional public realm improvements in partnership with the local business community.

Residents and businesses will receive an update on the work. TfGM has also written to residents to update them about work along Astley Street.

At a public meeting last year, residents and businesses expressed a desire for the three week closure of Astley Street for essential United Utilities water main works to take place over a school holiday period.

These works have now been scheduled to start from Monday 30 March to Monday 20 April, during the upcoming school holidays. A diversion route via Hough Lane will be signed during this closure period and the emergency services will be informed.

Mike Worden, Wigan Council’s assistant director for Planning and Transport, said: “We’ve considered a range of views on the plans and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to give us their feedback. It’s heartening to see that many people share our desire to invest in and improve the town centre.

“We have committed to carrying out reviews of both the parking and traffic situations in Tyldesley as soon as the busway becomes operational to ensure that any impact on these by the busway is mitigated.

“We also heard a big desire to make the most of the new market square and to help the whole of the town centre feel the benefits of this investment.

“We have listened and we are committed to working with businesses to make these aspirations a reality.

“The works are now set to re-start and are likely to cause some disruption. We sincerely apologise in advance for any inconvenience that is caused during this time.”

Peter Boulton, head of programme management Services at TfGM, said: “We’re working very closely with the council and contractors to minimise the local impact of the traffic management for the works ahead. As ever we will be keeping residents and businesses informed as we work to improve transport links to the area.”

Tyldesley market square will be transformed to offer a greener, more pleasant and useable environment, with new paving and trees – including a Christmas tree.

The water fountain will be renovated and moved back to its original location outside the chapel – increasing the amount of space available for public events to be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

A full public consultation on the Tyldesley town centre scheme took place in autumn 2012. The scheme went to Wigan Council’s Scrutiny Committee for approval before the statutory Traffic Regulation Orders consultation, after which the final scheme was approved by Wigan Council.

Busway services will travel from Atherton down Tyldesley Road and then onto Shuttle Street. Then the bus will turn right onto Stanley Street stopping at the new bus stop on market square. Traffic modelling shows that there will not be a significant increase to delays for general traffic as a result of the proposals.

An intelligent traffic light system being installed on Elliott St and Astley Street will assess the traffic and work out the most efficient way to get as many people as possible through the junction.

Due to open later this year, busway services will ultimately cutting the overall journey time between Tyldesley and central Manchester to around 40 minutes, even at peak times.

It will also reduce the time it takes to get between Tyldesley and Leigh to less than 10 minutes.