Consultation Cycling Public Transport Walking

Manchester City Centre Transport consultation response: Walk Ride urges bolder, faster changes with clear rollout plan

Manchester City Council is to be congratulated for its draft City Centre Transport Strategy  – which is open for comment until Wed 4 Nov and you feedback here. 

Walk Ride GM is broadly very supportive of the principles and proposals – but we urge a more detailed timeline that brings key proposals forward and commits to the city centre being a pedestrian and cycle priority zone by 2025 at the latest.

We believe such a timeframe is required for Manchester to

  • support people getting around without a car during Covid19, and longer term
  • reduce pollution and contribute to a more attractive, resilient city centre that people will want to visit
  • achieve its ambition to reduce climate-harming greenhouse gasses by 50% in the next five years, given that vehicles comprise more than 30% of direct Co2 emissions.

We also urge a review of the targets for different types of journeys and introduction of other Key Performance measures.

For instance – we are skeptical about the strategy’s current targets for just 6% of journeys to be made by bike and 12% by foot 20 years from now, and believe they are not aligned with the stated aspiration to be a clean, green world-leading city; nor will the relatively small decreases in driving over the next 20 years, achieve the required pollution & Co2 reductions.

So we urge the City Council & Transport for Greater Manchester to act more quickly, and to work with the Manchester Climate Change Agency and its advisors the Tyndall Centre to develop scenarios of the changes needed in each transport mode to deliver this change.

We are also asking for some further detailed steps to support walking and cycling in the shorter term, and more clarity on some key items.

Lastly, we respectfully request that the City Council to carry on working with stakeholders in a more inclusive, open way (as it did in the development of the draft) – in the further development of an action plan for delivery, and specific pieces of work, such as the plans for Deansgate, Whitworth Street and city centre ‘triangle’.


Targets for modal shift include a 7,000 per day increase in cycle journeys although this would still only account for 6% of trips
We want the targets to go further – to include the whole day not just rush hour & include trips within the city

For instance, we call for the setting up of a street-users forum to ensure that the needs of a range of people in multiple demographics are identified, understood and incorporated into designs.  

We have shared our response to the City Centre Transport Consultation below.

We’ve laid our response out as per the template on the MCC website, including detail on the proposal in question next to each question, in case anyone might want to use it as a guide.



Q1. Our Buses – We want to make bus services more efficient and reliable into and through the city centre area with measures that give good access for bus passengers while reducing the impact of buses in some parts of the city centre which are heavily used by pedestrians.

Walk Ride view: Fully Supportive 


Buses: MCC Proposals summary 
We want more people coming in by bus – especially from 10km-and-more away. We’ll make things better for bus users by:

  • providing more efficient and reliable bus services into and through the city centre
  • reducing other traffic in the city centre – with stretches for buses, bikes and cabs only
  • interventions including bus gates, improvements to bus stops and the development of quality bus transit corridors.

We want more bus routes that cross the city rather than terminate – reducing some of the large city centre terminus facilities as they clog the centre and idling buses pollute the streets. We want less of a bus terminal in Piccadilly Gardens – reducing the bus terminus facility footprint at Parker Street and the closure of the Oldham Street loop. 

And we want to optimise bus services to our existing bus terminal assets – such as increased use of the quality facilities at Shudehill. We will seek to reconfigure the traffic signals at the junction between Shudehill, Nicholas Croft, Withy Grove, Thomas Street, remodel the bus entrance/exit onto Shudehill and incorporate better walking and cycling facilities.

We want to redevelop Piccadilly Gardens and enhance this area with better quality public realm.

We want to reform how buses are regulated into a London-style joined-up system so we can link up timetables and tickets with other types of transport and get cleaner, less polluting buses on the road.

We will assess and develop a roadmap to deliver a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. In the next five years we will develop options for retrofitting or upgrading local authority vehicle fleet.

Our future plan could include the introduction of a new bus station / interchange at Piccadilly as part of redeveloping the area for High Speed 2 project.

Free buses will continue to play a complementary role in helping people travel around the city centre.

We would also like to see extended hours of operation for public transport services to support the night-time economy as well as those travelling for work purposes.

Buses: Walk Ride GM response
We fully support the measure above.

We believe they need to go further in this regards;-

  • Fully close Piccadilly Gardens bus station completely and move it to Piccadilly station hub or Victoria, with enhanced walking, cycling access into the city centre
  • Ban buses idling while standing in the city centre with immediate effect 
  • Bring forward the date for a fully carbon-zero bus fleet to 2030
  • If intending to introduce more shared bus/bike corridors – enhance measures and driver training to protect people on bikes 




Q2. Our Metrolink – We intend to increase the capacity of Metrolink services with additional trams. Longer-term we want significant network improvements, including integration with some of the rail network forming a Metro-type service. We’re exploring the possibility of tram-train technology, connections to Salford Crescent, and Metro tunnel under the city centre.

Walk Ride view: Fully Supportive


Trams: MCC Proposals summary 
We want more trams, routes & people using them. We want to expand busiest routes to meet demand. 

Longer term, we want to integrate trams with the rail network and are looking to test tram-train technology in Greater Manchester so trams can run on train lines, and potential connections to Salford Crescent. This will initially be tested through pilot ‘pathfinder’ projects in selected locations

We will look at the feasibility of further capacity expansions of the network through a Metro tunnel under the city centre. This solution would avoid taking scarce street level space to expand the network and to facilitate longer vehicles. We will also enhance connectivity between Metrolink and rail at key city centre stations, including Deansgate.

Early works on the relocation and expansion of Piccadilly’s Metrolink stop, beneath the planned new High Speed rail 2 / Piccadilly station concourse

Trams: Walk Ride GM response
We fully support the measures above.

We believe they need to go further in this regards;-

Short term

  • Bikes to be allowed on off-peak services (and excluding football matches/big events) in keeping with other UK cities eg Edinburgh who are doing more to support active travel
  • Investigate ways to speed up journeys times by deprioritising vehicles at junctions  

Longer term

  • We support the concept of transport hubs and believe the long term plan should be to move towards much greater integration of existing facilities eg Oxford Road station and Castlefield/Deansgate tram & train
  • New rolling stock including tram/train carriages to include specific provision for wheelchairs, bikes, mobility aids in keeping with wider strategy to enable a joined-up Our Network within which it is much easier to link walking or cycling to other forms of transport 
  • Any new tram stops to be built alongside existing train or bus interchanges to make it easier to connect to other services 


Map showing future potential tram and train/tram services



Q3. Our Rail – The rail network needs developing and services made far more reliable with: more and longer trains; some longer platforms; commitments to deliver HS2 – the high-speed line connecting the North and London – Northern Powerhouse Rail providing improved services across the north; an Integrated Rail Plan; and transformation of Piccadilly station into a world-class interchange and gateway into our city region.

Walk Ride view: Neither supportive nor unsupportive 


MCC Proposals summary 
We’re expecting big growth in city centre jobs in coming years and want to develop and improve services for commuters coming in, especially from distances over 10km.

Longer term we want to see the high-speed rail service HS2 linking us to Leeds, Birmingham and London, and we support the Northern Powerhouse Rail ‘whole network’ approach which will bring more capacity for passengers and freight with better journey times and links across the North. 

Working with High Speed rail 2, the Department for Transport and Transport for the North – design a fully integrated gateway station at Piccadilly – transform it into a world-class interchange and gateway to our city; 

To include relocation of tram stop, new taxi arrangements and bike hub.

Walk Ride GM response
We would like to emphasise the need for ;-

  • A Piccadilly station revamp with or without HS2 – this is a gateway to the city and should include high-quality, pleasant, well signed, iconic walking routes into the heart of the city and its key quarters – St Peter’s Square, Northern Quarter, Piccadilly Gardens, Canal Street and further afield: Oxford Road, Deansgate, Ancoats and Salford Chapel Street.
  • Supporting people’s ability to interchange easily between transport modes – particularly between Oxford Road, Piccadilly, Victoria
  • (current walking routes from our main train stations into key city centre destinations are hard to navigate, indirect, cluttered by buses and billboards, and fail to show off our city)
  • More investment in regional rail services linking Manchester to surrounding towns – and faster services more akin to the journey times found in the south east
  • More on-board support for wheelchairs, bikes, mobility aids in keeping with wider strategy to enable active travel

We also support 

  • Enhanced rapid transit connections into the city centre 
  • More frequency of public transport to the city centre including night time services
  • Improving the comfort and safety of public transport journeys, by increasing capacity 
  • Ensuring journeys by public transport are affordable for all users
  • New rolling stock – including tram/train carriages – to include provision for wheelchairs, bikes, mobility aids in keeping with wider strategy to enable active travel 





Q4. Our Streets (Walking) – We plan a major re-design of many Manchester city centre streets and spaces to make them easier and more pleasant to walk in, expanding pedestrian priority zones, enhancing walking routes, and making it easier to cross streets.

Walk Ride view: Fully Supportive 


How Deansgate might change, according to the strategy document.


Walking: MCC Proposals summary 
We want walking to become the main way of getting about the city centre, and want to invest to make it happen.

We want to expand zones where pedestrians come first, improving walking routes, and making it safe and easy to cross streets. 

We want to transform some of Manchester’s most iconic streets to make them as pedestrian-friendly and attractive, like St Peter’s Square is now, and Albert Square is becoming. 

We want the pedestrianisation along Deansgate to be permanent and to use this as a model to develop city centre streets in the future.

Whitworth Street could be re-designed in a similar manner whilst also developing this movement corridor for cycling.

We are planning for street improvements to these two key streets, through significantly reduced traffic, better for walking and cycling as well as spending time in.

We will prioritise improvements to major walking routes in our city, particularly on busy routes with higher footfall and where pavement widths and pedestrian crossings are inadequate for current or forecast demand. 

Improvements to the following routes and junctions are our priorities to make walking quicker and safer in the city centre, as part of the wider development of the Bee Network

  • Routes to/from Piccadilly station and Piccadilly Gardens;
  • Routes to/from Victoria station and Shudehill;
  • Deansgate;
  • Whitworth Street;
  • Chapel Street and routes to/from Salford Central;
  • Thomas Street and Stevenson Square through the Northern Quarter;
  • Streets and spaces within and into the Oxford Road corridor area;
  • Routes to/from the central pedestrian area and retail core; and
  • Ensuring the connectivity of the city centre to the emerging Bee Network

We’ll make it easier for people to cross streets both at formal crossings and on continuous footways. 

  • Ensure our crossing points are facilities that work well & give people enough time to cross
  • Reduce overcrowding at key crossings through widening where possible, to ensure pedestrian safety; 
  • Install pedestrian crossings on desire lines for direct routes;
  • Deliver crossings that are suitable for a range of users making it easy to cross

Some key streets for improved crossings include

  • Princess Street / Whitworth Street junction; 
  • Whitworth Street / Sackville Street junction;
  • London Road Fairfield Street junction; 
  • Oxford Road / Hulme Street / Charles Street junction.

We will develop a programme of interventions to reduce severance at the Manchester Salford Inner Relief Route, railway crossing points and across the River Irwell and River Medlock.

Piccadilly Gardens is an important part of the city centre which we would like to improve as a space for people to visit more often, enjoy and for walking through safely.

Improving the ease of access to the significant range of attractions and facilities such as university buildings, hospitals, museums and open space in the Oxford Road Corridor area forms part of the city centre plans to improve streets for people walking and cycling.

In Salford, we are committed to redeveloping many of the streets within and around the city centre to encourage more walking and cycling in this area.

Development of proposals for new pedestrian connections with neighbouring areas to PIccadilly station, including connections to Mayfield through the new park; and a new boulevard linking East Manchester into Piccadilly, providing a major new piece of public realm.

In addition to the Piccadilly station hub: 

Ancoats Travel Hub 

  • to meet parking requirements of residential & commercial development in next phase of redevelopment in Ancoats, removing parking from individual schemes and promoting shift away from car ownership by providing infrastructure which offers sustainable alternatives
  • provide access to sustainable modes including cycling, walking, public transport and car clubs
  • integration with enhanced cycling and walking routes, including the canal towpaths and the route towards New Islington Metrolink stop;
  • secure cycle storage & cycle hub facilities to encourage cycling as a primary mode of transport;
  • Promotion of Electric Vehicles where private car use required, with charging infrastructure
  • Utilising the latest digital technology to help customers plan how they use transport through interactive systems to book car clubs, EV charging and cycle facilities;
  • Use of the hub for a local car club which encourages flexible car sharing/ rental over car ownership, offering a range of vehicles to suit as many users as possible eg via an app;
  • A hub for parcel deliveries including smart parcel lockers, with last mile deliveries to be arranged via electric vehicles or cargo bikes.

We will work together to provide and maintain more permanent and seasonal greenery and trees on our city’s streets. 

We will ensure we continue to work with partners including City of Trees to improve landscaping and greening of the city centre. We will take all opportunities to incorporate sustainable drainage schemes (SuDS) as part of any tree planting activity.

Walking: Walk Ride GM response
We fully support the proposals including significant transfer of space away from vehicles to give pedestrians greater priority and focus. 

Indeed, in time we would like to see the whole inner city zone (as per diagram) made a ‘pedestrian and bike priority zone’, with vehicles as visitors only for deliveries, disabled access or taxi drop offs/pick ups, and over time, even those vehicles required to be electric.

Furthermore, we would like to see a timetable for delivery of this phased withdrawal of through traffic and space from motor vehicles that sets out the short, medium and long term changes -starting with more action now to support a better pedestrian experience. 

Standards should be adopted so that walking routes are not severed by long wait times to cross traffic corridors – indeed if the hierarchy of users is being followed – pedestrians should have priority at all times at all crossings within the inner city centre zone – and any vehicles that are given access, have to wait for green signals. 

All street design should clearly signal that cars are visitors. 

We welcome the blanket 20mph limit for vehicles – and urge it to be introduced immediately. But 20mph would be much too fast for vehicles in pedestrian priority areas once these are established – here speeds should be restricted to 5mph and drivers clearly warned they do not have right of way and expected to travel at walking pace. 

Street space should not be cluttered or obstructed: pavement cafes should have clear boundaries so there is space for walking and A-boards, street furniture, docking stations for bikes and micro mobility hire schemes adhere to clear guidelines. 

We need design that reflects different uses – the layout of St Peters Square and plans for Albert Square do not set a good precedence in this regard – there should be proper segregation for people on foot from other traffic, including cycles and scooters, whenever possible. 

More walking can be achieved by high quality walking routes in the city centre that use the green and blue infrastructure and particularly connect to routes around and out of the city, such as 

  • Manchester Green Trail 
  • Salford Trail
  • Transpennine Trail
  • GM Ringway

 (we support the details set out in the Ramblers consultation response).

We would also like to see a massive enhancement of walking between Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road stations and the rest of the city – currently walking to the centre from any of these important gateways is a horrible experience with no direct, safe, easy-to-follow routes.

We support the closure of Deansgate & Whitworth Street to vehicle traffic, with exceptions for eg deliveries at certain times and disabled access; as part of the proposed triangle of cycle routes both will require a clearly marked cycle route and ample space for cycle parking including parklets.

Further quality walking routes should be provided from and to  

  • St Peter’s Square (important tram interchange) – especially to Piccadilly station
  • Albert Square (showpiece for city)
  • Cathedral Square 
  • Spinningfields  
  • Ancoats/Central Retail Park 

We also urge there to be improvements made to Market Street – which although already pedestrianised is a terrible bottleneck and awful pedestrian experience and believe through traffic on Fountain Street should be ceased and this road made a walking/cycling route from St Peter’s Square (vehicles access only), in the short term. Oldham Street should be closed to buses and this road made a major pedestrian gateway to the Northern Quarter.

We do not believe the targets for walking are ambitious enough.

The document states walking into the city will increase from 14,500 to 19,000 in 20 years’ time, but actually decrease as a share of journeys in peak. We do not believe this is in keeping with the ambitions in this strategy or the carbon zero framework and urge these to be reviewed and revised upwards.




Q5. Our Streets (Cycling) – We want to support more people to cycle with an integrated city centre cycle network, formed around “the triangle” primary cycle network — Deansgate, Whitworth Street West and the Northern Quarter cycle route. We will also support the introduction of a Greater Manchester bike hire scheme in the city centre.


Walk Ride view: Fully Supportive 





MCC Proposals summary 
We want to make cycling in the city centre better for the growing numbers travelling by bike. We want the cycle network to be better connected and more attractive for new cyclists. 

To support more people cycling we are developing an integrated city centre cycle network, formed around “the triangle” primary cycle network, comprising three major routes: 

  • The “Picc-Vic” connection (Piccadilly station through to Victoria station) already under development through the Northern Quarter 
  • A connection between Victoria & Oxford Rd stations (along Deansgate), with connections to Salford Central & Deansgate stations;
  • A connection between Oxford Rd station and Piccadilly station (along Whitworth Street) 

These core routes will be designed to support cyclists of all abilities, ensure widths that are suitable for cargo-bikes, adapted bikes and hand cycles. The city centre triangle will be supported by appropriate directional signage that provides a fully integrated Bee Network walking and cycling routes and helps cyclists to find the quickest routes to get around the city

This will be supported by measures to ensure greater permeability of the whole city centre by bike, and a series of “spokes” on the “city centre wheel” cycle network, which includes quality radial routes for people travelling from across the city-region.

The “wheel” currently includes the Broughton cycle route, Liverpool Rd and will soon include Chorlton cycle route & Oxford Rd Corridor. The plans will enhance these & other key radial routes into the centre, focusing on North & East of the city (designs to be developed). 

Such as

  • Liverpool Street
  • Chapel Street East
  • Northern / Eastern Gateway cycle route (behind Great Ancoats St)
  • Princess Rd / Mancunian Way Parkway cycle enhancements
  • Manchester to Chorlton cycleway (currently on site)
  • Oldham Road (design only in current MCF funding round)
  • Segregated routes to the intermediate relief road (Queens Rd & Alan Turing Way)

We will conduct a city-wide cycle parking review which will:

  • Review the availability and distribution of both on and off-street public and residential cycle parking provision 
  • Assess requirements for public and residential cycle parking, including those that can accommodate cargo cycles and adapted cycles; 
  • Review the use of the Cycle Hubs in the centre (e.g. Oxford Rd, City Tower, Salford Central);
  • Opportunities to combine improved cycle parking with new seating and public realm/ green space provision, such as “parklets”; 
  • Explore innovative solutions that increase space efficiency of cycle parking such as fully automated underground bicycle stores.

Piccadilly station gateway: provision of key cycle routes into and out of the city centre and cycle hubs at the new station;

Introduction of a bike hire scheme to provide easier access to bikes in the city centre.

Walk Ride GM response
We fully support the proposals. 

In addition, we wish to ensure the triangle of routes is provided as soon as practically possible using low-cost measures such as wands and accessible barriers, starting with the length of Deansgate.

In addition, we would like all permanent schemes to be designed to confirm to the new LTN1/20 guidance – which includes avoiding shared space between bikes and pedestrians.

This includes being designed with the most inclusive approach in mind, to enable use by all forms of micro-mobility eg trikes, electric disability scooters, e-cargo bikes, hand cycles and family bikes.

We would urge MCC to act faster on the ‘wheel concept’ to create a pipeline of schemes on a short medium and long-term timeline to support people to get into the city centre on bikes – as there is currently only one protected route into the city centre (Oxford Road) and one in development (Chorlton Cycleway) and has not developed the business case for any others.

We support the focus on north and eastern links and wish to be involved as a key stakeholder in the design of these and any other routes. (Chorlton Cycleway’s section 2 designs have only been publicly shared two years after initial consultation and weeks before due to be built).

We urge MCC to begin developing proposals for further vital arterial connections for example:

  • From Salford: Bridge St as well as Liverpool Road
  • From Trafford (industrial park, Quays, Cornbrook):
  • A56 – Castlefield
  • From due north eg Cheetham Hill
  • From east: Ashton Old Road
  • From south-east: A6 – and in particular through areas such as Longsight, Levenshulme, Ardwick where car ownership is low

Furthermore while we support the concept of the triangle – we would urge all the radial routes reach to the very centre for both travelling in/out but also moving around the centre, for example:

  • Oxford Rd, Peter Street to Deansgate
  • Portland Rd between Oxford Rd & Piccadilly (or perhaps across Albert Sq & Cross St)
  • Around & across Piccadilly Gardens – segregated from trams/buses and not across pedestrian space
  • Piccadilly Gardens – NQ – Ancoats
  • Albert Sq – Mount Street – Medlock street – Princess Road roundabout & Hulme

We do not believe the cycling targets are ambitious enough and we urge these to be reviewed.

Increasing the average number of cyclists travelling in to the centre in per day, from 2,500 to 9,500 in 20 years, (which means increasing the daily average by 350, per year) is not in keeping with the ambitions set out in the Made to Move Bee Network strategy (to which all boroughs have committed, and speaks of a ‘doubling then doubling again of cycling rates in 10 years’ – this would be at least 10,000 by 2030, not 9,500 by 2040) nor the Carbon Zero Plan which needs emissions to halve in five years.

Cultural change: The strategy references in made place a fear that there is not enough space for enhanced pedestrian space and cycle lanes – but this is not a problem if the strategy follows through on its promise to reduce road space for cars.

If the hierarchy of road users is followed, then there is more than enough space for the current road network within the centre to be primarily a cycle and vehicle access network and for existing pavements to be widened, flattened and expanded, and for huge swathes of real estate to be pedestrianised or turned into seating, parks or cafe space. 




Q6. Our Streets (Accessibility) – We want to ensure the city centre is accessible to all, including for people whose mobility is restricted; we will further expand pedestrian priority zones across the city.

Walk Ride view: Fully Supportive 


Accessibility: MCC Proposals summary
City centre streets that provide for the needs of young people, older people, people with mobility issues and disabled users

Safe, navigable routes supported by clear wayfinding infrastructure 

The provision of accessible and age-friendly street furniture including well-designed seating and lighting

Accessibility: Walk Ride GM response
We wish all walking and cycling facilities to be fully inclusive as per the Government’s new LTN1/20 design guidance.

We believe the city council should create a street user group with strong representation from specific groups such as visually & audibly impaired people, wheelchair users, other disabled people, including those who cycle; as well as older people, young parents and children – to help ensure more accessible designs are drawn up and delivered.

All new tram, train and bus fleets should have high standards of accessibility




Q7. Our Streets (Managing Traffic) – For some, the car will remain the means by which they will access the city centre. We believe car use needs to be carefully managed. To support this we will remove, over time, some car parking in the core of Manchester city centre.


Walk Ride view: Fully Supportive 



Managing Traffic: CC Proposals summary 
We don’t want petrol-driven vehicles in the city centre. We’ll discourage them, removing car parks as part of that.

If cars and goods vehicles must come, we’ll push for cleaner, lower polluting vehicles, like electric or hybrid, helping to keep Greater Manchester’s air clean and support our legal responsibility to work towards a net-zero carbon future.

Work will be undertaken to see whether it is feasible/practical to implement an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) at a future point. 


Reasons for visiting the city centre

We will develop our city centre street network to be a fully 20mph area and remove through traffic, which we will facilitate with the development of loops into and out of the city from the Manchester Salford Inner Relief Route – sections of Trinity Way, Mancunian Way and Great Ancoats Street.

We want different kinds of traffic to mix less. So in the future, we want ‘priority corridors’ for specific kinds of vehicles like bikes, buses, goods and deliveries, to give those modes the safe space they need.

We believe that the use of the car needs to change and be carefully managed in our future city centre. To support this we will be, over time, removing some existing car parking within the core of the city centre. 

New developments will remove surface car parks and on-street parking will be reduced to make better use of street space, such as providing wider footways, more dynamic loading or servicing provision, space for bars and restaurants or parklets.

(Off-street car parks provide circa 30,000 spaces operated by a variety of companies including Euro Car Parks, APCOA, NCP, Citipark, Q-Park and SIP, among others. In the future, as many as 12,500 spaces could be lost through redevelopment.)

A managed but swift transition to much lower city centre parking provision is necessary, not just in order to achieve the city’s zero carbon aims, but to deliver a less congested, more walking and cycling friendly city centre. Both of these objectives will be achieved through discouraging non-essential car trips to the city centre.

We will: 

  • Encourage the use of car parks for long stay parking through appropriate pricing; 
  • Signpost drivers to the most appropriate off-street car park to reduce circuitous and through traffic on the Manchester and Salford Inner Relief Route; 
  • Ensure that our off-street car parks are easily accessible for disabled users.
  • Reduce the number of car parks in the city centre; and 
  • Encourage the use of new technologies to make parking more efficient

We will conduct a city-wide review of coach parking to ensure adequate provision, taking account of forecast demand of future visitor numbers travelling to Manchester by coach and the most appropriate arrival point. 

We will also ensure that the plans for the city centre do not have a detrimental impact on areas surrounding the city centre such as Ardwick, Cheetham Hill, Hulme and Ordsall

Reducing the proportion of trips into the city centre made by car to less than 10% of the total morning peak hour trips.

Reducing idling motor vehicles and minimising vehicle dwell time on city centre streets

We will conduct a city-wide review of taxi set down locations and waiting arrangements to support our Streets for All aspirations

There are plans to expand the car club, potentially to 111 vehicles by the end of 2022 and also widen their geographic spread across the city so that it becomes more accessible to a wider number of residents. 

Building on the introduction of consolidation schemes that have been piloted in the city centre, including a city centre waste consolidation pilot, and an NHS consolidation scheme in The Corridor, we will review opportunities to progress further freight consolidation, procurement and interception schemes. 

We will review opportunities to enhance use of green cargo in our city centre. We will consider proposals to: 

  • Introduce further cycle logistics networks and hubs in the city; 
  • Develop electric charging points for LGVs; 
  • Assist with the development of cargo bike loan or hire schemes and associated parking for cargo bikes

Electric charging: The provision of fast chargers will be focussed in locations that encourage intermodal journeys such as park and ride sites or transport hubs and destinations with longer dwell times such as public car parks. There will also be the need to develop community hub charging in residential areas with large amounts of on-street parking

Longer term: Observed traffic data volumes and analysis have shown that the Manchester Salford Inner Relief Route is often used by vehicles undertaking trips travelling from one side of Greater Manchester to the other. Where possible, we want to increase efforts to encourage cars to use the external ring road (M60) for longer distance trips around the region. For trips within the M60 travelling between east and west or north and south, we will review the role of the Intermediate Ring Road and seek to develop options that manage traffic in this area.

Managing Traffic: Walk Ride GM response
We fully support the proposals.

In addition it is essential that motorised traffic is significantly reduced at all times, not just at the morning peak, so that road space can be permanently reallocated to people on foot and bike.

We believe the city centre should have all through traffic removed and only be accessed by vehicles in limited circumstances for instance – deliveries (set times), disabled people, taxis at specified locations. In time even those vehicles will need to be electric.

Furthermore, we would like to see a timetable for delivery of this phased withdrawal of through traffic and space from motor vehicles that sets out the short, medium and long term changes, and mechanisms to favour clean transport modes over all others.

This must be considered in the way new housing is provided – without car provision or with shared cars. City centre businesses should pay a tax on workplace parking, with finances reinvested in the city centre.

We would like to see freight consolidation centres on the outskirts in north south east and west locations, from which last-mile deliveries can be made by electric vehicle and cargo bike, into the city centre.

In the very long term, we would like MCC to consider re-routing the Inner Ring Road further outside the central zone.

For instance, Ancoats is part of the city centre and is blighted by the six-lane Great Ancoats Street running through it, past schools and housing. 

This is not a quick fix – but for a long-term strategy such as this, it should consider the longer term plan for the ring road being further out (as part of work looking at the M60). 

In the south, if the ring road was re-routed, the current Mancunian Way flyover could be turned into an iconic floating green park, in the same way New York has done.

Perhaps this one is not realistic – but we would like to see more ambition like this on ideas for how Manchester can create iconic active spaces with its citizens – and also show at a glance its commitment to being a liveable, green, clean, healthy place.



Q8. Our Integrated Network – Travel solutions and technology are developing fast — we’ll keep up with new ideas, and support and test technology that helps progress our vision for city centre travel.


Walk Ride view: Supportive


Innovation MCC Proposals summary 
We will support new technology that helps with our aims and we will continue testing new ideas. 

Such trials will potentially include the review of e-scooters, electric cargo bikes, travel hubs, dynamic kerbside management for parking and goods deliveries across the city centre.

Our efforts will focus on delivering cleaner air in the city centre and supporting our aspirations to deliver a zero-carbon city centre environment.

We will explore future opportunities for introducing Connected and Autonomous Vehicles for getting into the city centre including the following use cases for deployment of CAVs:

  • Segregated CAV corridors on radial routes into the city centre and sections of the Manchester Salford Inner Relief Rd; 
  • Automated public transit CAVs to provide high frequency connections between stations in an orbital fashion; 
  • First and last mile freight, utilising CAVs for the first and last mile delivery of freight in the city;
  • On demand CAV fleets – operating in a similar manner to taxi services but using CAVs rather than manned vehicles.

Future transport innovations will be considered appropriate for trial and use in the city context if they adhere to the following requirements:

  •  Supporting priorities for people walking, efforts to enable more people to walk and cycle, and not shifting people from sustainable travel modes to unsustainable travel modes;
  • Contributing to efforts to reduce motor vehicle volumes and trips; 
  • Helping to make our streets safer and not increasing road speeds, road danger or the need for additional policing or enforcement;
  •  Minimising obstructions to people walking and not permanently obstructing pavements or adding clutter;
  •  Improving the efficiency of kerbside use and not increasing parking or loading space requirements;
  •  Helping spread travel demand for both people and goods more evenly across the day;
  •  Helping make streets cleaner by reducing transport related emissions; and
  •  Improving the experience of using the city’s streets and open spaces 

Other initiatives planned as part of our future mobility and transport innovation work include:

  • Use of e-ink boards at bus stops (trial on Oxford Road) to provide real time information to passengers 
  • Smart junctions trials – using computer vision cameras and AI to optimise traffic flow and reduce journey times and ease congestion 
  • Development of the smart junctions trial by adding 5G and Local Full Fibre Network connectivity to provide centralised real-time imaging, improving management and efficiency as well as possibly opening up other use cases such as public 5G-powered Wi-Fi, and paving the way for increasingly connected/autonomous vehicles.
  • Enhancement of digital connectivity through the Local Full Fibre Network, scoping out additional 5G and fibre use cases such a public wifi, asset monitoring 
  • Trials of e-scooters (subject to central govt guidance/legislation) 
  • Continuing to ‘open up’ data – projects such as GMDataHive will make data such as real time traffic flows, average speeds etc. available to developers for apps etc.
Innovation: Walk Ride GM response
We support the use of new technology especially where it helps reduce vehicles and increase the use of public transport.

We are not convinced any public resources should be spent on autonomous vehicle planning or provision at this stage.

Innovation budget, time and resources should be spent in keeping with the seven ambitions, particularly ambiton 1.



Q9. Do you think the strategy supports the vision and ambitions for the city centre?

Walk Ride view: Yes 


Walk Ride GM response
Yes we believe this strategy will improve the city as a place to live work and visit – but we urge MCC to go further and faster, for it to align with the Climate Emergency objectives and milestones, and for it to be accompanied by a clear roll out plan.

Much can be achieved far sooner with ambition; for instance we urge MCC to 

  • Move the city centre to become a pedestrian and cycle priority zone as far as possible by 2025 at the latest 
  • Develop an Active Neighbourhood for all quadrants of the city centre over a short medium and long timescale
  • Instigate a portfolio of medium-term measures towards this goal by enhancing pedestrian & cycle infrastructure on a one, three & five-year timeframe
  • Deliver all permanent cycle initiatives no later than 2030 (aligning with the Bee Network, which is a 10 year plan) 
  • Develop more Bee Network projects including arterial routes from each key district centre, for 2022/3 delivery.
  • Review how road maintenance can give opportunities for advancement, even if piecemeal (as part of defined routes), esp. junctions.

In the immediate time frame, we urge short term measures such as 

  • Significantly increasing safe storage facilities. If it is needed to deliver them quickly, make chargeable and give credits to unemployed/low-income groups.
  • Use low-cost infrastructure to implement the ‘triangle’ of cycle routes
  • Close Deansgate & Whitworth Street to through traffic as a trial as encouraged under the Government’s Emergency Active Travel measures, and permanently as soon as possible assuming the trial is a success
  • Start to close other streets to vehicles for all but access such as Fountain Street which severs Market Street and could be a key link from St Peter’s Square to the shopping zone 
  • Consider even shorter term measures as part of routine highways work immediately such as 
    • widening pavements in key locations 
    • enhancing pedestrian priority in key locations 

This will enable people who do not have a car to move around the city, deliver sustainable city growth, and address the climate emergency promise / challenge.


Q9. Do you think the strategy will improve the city centre as a place to live, work and visit?


Walk Ride view: Yes 


Walk Ride GM response
Yes – but only if it is delivered and at greater scale and pace – notably removing cars from central streets and massively enhancing the public realm for walking – especially from and around transport hubs – and enabling people to get in by bike.


Q10. Please add any other comments on the proposed Draft City Centre 2040 Transport Strategy:


Public involvement
WRGM response
We wish to be engaged in the further development of this strategy and hope that the stakeholder forums or similar can continue.

We believe MCC needs to take account of the different types of user and give weight to each (not just residents) 

  • Residents
  • Workers
  • Visitors 
  • Tourists 
  • Business owners

We urge the timescales for specific proposals to include enough time for feedback to influence designs (eg Deansgate and Whitworth Street)

We urge the formation of a city centre street user forum to inform this work and ensure maximum inclusive quality design 

WRGM response
In the short term the impact of the pandemic is reducing confidence in public transport and the existing capacity constraints will be difficult to address in the medium term. 

Therefore, a much more significant increase in walking and cycling is needed. 

To achieve that increase we need to see all the current commitments as part of the Bee Network implemented and for the network to be clearly linked to existing routes and trails.

MCC information on targets:

By 2040, at least 6% of trips into the city centre in the morning peak are expected to be by bicycle (9,500trips between 0730-0930, compared to 2,500 in 2019). 

We are targeting a major increase in peak hour public transport trips into the city centre with an increase of around 50% by Metrolink, over 50% for bus and approximately 90% for rail by 2040. 

Walking and cycling trips are targeted to increase by nearly 70%. This will achieve a car mode share of 10% by 2040 (compared to 21% in 2019).

Cycle safety is identified as a major issue with 80% of conversation respondents indicating they felt unsafe when cycling around the city centre. 

90% of respondents to the City Centre Transport Strategy conversation survey identified that improving the air quality in the city centre was important. 

Over 75% of respondents felt there was not enough public space in the city centre, and 56% felt that the current public space was unattractive

WRGM response: 

It seems that the detailed targets were omitted in error from the strategy document (or the very brief table on mode shift, which lists only one metric, is out of place)

Either way we wish to see 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 year timeframes for mode shift in all forms of transport (rail, tram, bus, driving (cars and freight), walking & cycling – with separate measurement of e-bikes)

The current walking and cycling targets are not ambitious enough and we believe will not meet the revised 2040 GM Transport Strategy nor the MCC Carbon Zero plan nor the GM Public Health Active Travel Manifesto.

We believe further work will show we need increases in the projections for 

  • Walking
  • Cycling

And decreases for 

  • Driving

We also need targets for all day not just peak.

If any of these can’t be currently measured the ‘innovation ambition’ should include a need to find ways to measure them as a matter of urgency.

(NB The recent Bee Network paper to the GMCA included a raft of relevant metrics which TfGM are going to be measuring which should be added to this strategy.  See this link – page 16.)

We would propose that these targets are at least in some way modelled against the carbon zero framework (with the assistance of the Tyndall Centre/ MCCA) – i.e. will they bring the reductions needed and if not what level will?

Targets should also include those for public perception on 

  • Safety 
  • Space
  • Attractiveness
  • And other metrics aligned to the vision.


Air quality targets

There should be specific targets for key points in the city centre including the ‘triangle’ streets 


Road Safety targets

There should be a target for zero deaths in the city centre from road crashes (currently the strategy says ‘as close to zero as possible’)

Infrastructure targets 

We would like to see specific 1, 3, 5, 10 year targets for example the following

  • Enhanced Crossings
  • Enhanced bike storage
  • Parklets
  • Car park space reductions
  • Electric charging points
Hierarchy of users 
Walk Ride GM response 
The strategy says walking is the main mode of transport (previous work cites pedestrians at the top of the hierarchy of users).

However in addition it talks of the need to ‘Balance the competing demands of different road users’

If walking is to be our main mode of getting about then that means then it’s not a ‘balance’ – which implies equal status of different needs. Some use by vehicles is to be accommodated – but not ‘balanced’. 

This is important because pedestrians are already meant to be the highest priority user in existing MCC highways policy – but this has clearly not happened.

If MCC is to embrace waking as the highest priority it will need to take decisions that actively de-prioritise driving – not balance’. A clear communications and engagement plan will be required alongside this work – drawing on best practice in other areas.


Embedding the work across the council
Walk Ride GM response 
Please ensure this strategy is embedded into related work in all city council departments and programmes specifically

  • Highways 
  • Regeneration
  • Planning
  • Housing
  • Night-Time economy
  • Neighbourhoods  

For instance – please publish the hierarchy of users visibly and ask all teams working across highways, planning, regeneration, housing to work to this in their own projects.


You can read the draft City Centre Transport Strategy here  – and feedback here. (by 4 Nov 2020)


We urge the strategy to be followed by a detailed action plan with clearer milestones for traffic removal and walking and cycling enhancements

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.