Funding boost set to help ease congestion on Greater Manchester’s road network

Traffic management of some of the Greater Manchester region’s busiest routes has received a financial boost meaning better monitoring and coordination of the network.

Funding to the sum of £1.35 million was recently given the greenlight at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The money will be spent on delivering the Corridor Management plan, which is led by Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) and supported by the ten districts, to highlight potential causes of congestion and propose measures to improve performance.

A series of infrastructure improvements will be delivered to improve traffic flow ranging from new and improved ANPR cameras, networking monitoring software that will use GPS technology to provide real-time updates to SatNav and other navigation devices through to new bus priority sensors at traffic lights and more digital message boards across the region.

A key part of the Greater Manchester Congestion Deal, the Corridor Management plan sets out to proactively identify and address problems on the most congested routes, particularly during peak periods.

Peter Boulton, TfGM’s Head of Highways, said: “At a time when our road network is experiencing increased levels of traffic it’s essential that we continue to deliver new systems and processes to stay one step ahead of the traffic.

“Working alongside our district partners we’re aiming to deliver a series of physical interventions and innovative digital services to help keep the public moving, particularly during the busiest times of the day.

“The funding will help us deliver long-term commuter benefits and ensure that we are able to realise a key ambition of the Congestion Deal.”

The Corridor Management plan comprises many specialist areas that includes, amongst others:

  • Data and highways modelling
  • Enforcement
  • Network Instrumentation
  • Control of Works
  • Corridor Management including improvement schemes
  • Active travel
  • Travel Demand Management

Currently, coordination of work on the region’s roads is managed by the ten local highway authorities, however, the Corridor Management plan sets out to ensure closer scrutiny of planned work to ensure that it does not impact on the road network.

While the Corridor Management plan promises to provide Greater Manchester with the tools and means to tackle congestion at a local level much more is needed to truly address wider issues relating to traffic, such as poor air quality.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, recently called on Government to grant Greater Manchester the funding and powers it needs to better coordinate roadworks and address some of the root causes of congestion on our roads.

He said: “This a small but critical step towards tackling congestion and the associated issue of poor air quality – which is made worse by standing traffic.

“Not only will this see the rollout of new tools to enable TfGM to deliver real-time traffic updates, it will also add increased resilience to the work that their control centre delivers around the clock.

“While this should go some way to better managing traffic flows I’d like to remind everyone that they too can play a part in helping us reduce congestion and the damaging effects it’s having on the economy and our health. Whether that’s using public transport or cycling, or simply re-timing so we don’t travel during busy times, it all adds up to make a significant difference.”

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