A £2.5m highway improvement scheme is set to “enhance” cycling and pedestrian facilities around Bolton town centre.

A grant worth £2,409,000, which will fund the second phase of the Manchester Road Gateway scheme, has been approved by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

This phase of highway junction upgrades will allow improvement works at the Newport Street and Trinity Street junction to get underway next month.

The scheme involves a number of highway junction upgrades along the A579 and in close proximity to Bolton town centre.

A TfGM spokesman said: “The upgrades being delivered at the Newport Street and Trinity Street junction will see the implementation of enhanced facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, providing a link into the wider cycling network in Bolton, whilst also delivering benefits to road users in terms of journey time savings and reliability.”

Construction on another phase of the scheme, at the Bury Road and Crompton Way junction, started in February

In July, plans were unveiled for a new Cycle Optimised Protected Signals junction ­— or CYCLOPS­ ­— the first of which was expected to be located at the Newport Street and Trinity Street junction.

CYCLOPS’ key design feature is an orbital cycle route separating cyclists from motor vehicles.

When completed, designers say it will reduce the risk of crashes and conflicts between different modes of transport, as well as allow pedestrians to get to where they want to go more easily and with more space to wait.

Designers of the approach say it brings a number of benefits including allowing cyclists and pedestrians to cross simultaneously.

It also shortens crossing times and distances, allows cyclists to filter left without signal controls and all without negatively impacting motor traffic.

The highways project, funded by the Local Growth Deal, will be delivered by Bolton Council in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and forms part of the Salford Bolton Network Improvements Programme.

The Manchester Road Gateway scheme received full approval from the GMCA in November 2019, with construction of the first phase of the scheme, the Bury Road and Crompton Way junction, commencing in February 2020 and due to complete by June 2020.

The latest grant of £2.409m, which was approved by GMCA last month, will be used to deliver Phase 2 of the scheme at the Newport Street and Trinity Street junction.

These works are expected to commence next month.

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