Greater Manchester authorities have agreed to spend £1.35 million to improve traffic flow and monitor congestion in the Manchester city region.
The funding was approved at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and will be spent on the delivery of a ‘Corridor Management’ plan, to be led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and supported by the ten Manchester district councils.
It is expected that the plan will highlight potential causes of congestion and propose measures to improve performance.
According to TfGM a series of infrastructure improvements will be delivered to improve traffic flow across the region. This will include new ANPR cameras, network monitoring software using GPS technology to provide real-time traffic updates, bus priority sensors at traffic lights and digital message boards across the region.
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.â€?
The funding comes after the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, called for greater support from government to address congestion in the area.
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.â€?
Plans are currently being drawn up to address air pollution in the region – expected to be finalised in January 2019 (see airqualitynews.com story).