Rochdale Borough Council has updated its strategy outlining its key transport priorities and aspirations until 2026.
It is hoped the Rochdale Borough Transport Strategy (RBTS) document can be used to help support funding bids and support the council’s wider economic, environmental, social and health priorities.
The strategy is based on four underlying principles:
- Support environment/sustainability and public health agenda tackling climate change through reducing emissions from transport, influencing travel choice, reducing natural resource use, and improving air quality offering more opportunities/choices for people to travel actively and independently by sustainable means;
- Support strategic land-use objectives to better integrate with transport provision and support economic growth, access to employment opportunities, housing and other development in locations where there is network capacity and connectivity is good;
- Address concerns from the public, who experience increasing delay and congestion, reducing journey reliability into / out of and around the Borough which undermines business efficiency, discourages local economic investment and reduces “Quality of Life” for residents; and
- Support regeneration. Successful communities and development opportunities are dependent on high quality, reliable and affordable access to jobs, health, education, leisure and other key local amenities. This is integral to deliver the Council’s Sustainable Communities Strategy aspirations and this Strategy provides a framework of transport initiatives to deliver this if possible.
The document was originally written in 2009 but has been refreshed and ratified by councillors on 3 February with the hope of attracting more transport funding to the borough.
Councillor Jacqui Beswick, cabinet member for place and regulation, said: “By having a strategy in place outlining the our transport aspirations, the council has been in an advantageous position in attracting transport funding and the refresh will help to maintain this when further bidding opportunities are presented.
“By 2026, Rochdale borough will have a safe, affordable, sustainable, reliable, accessible and integrated transport network that offers travel choice for all, serves its communities, tackles air qualities and climate change, enhances social inclusion, public health and supports the regeneration and economic growth of the local area.”
The 2009 strategy has already proved successful in securing funding and financial support for a number of projects through the Greater Manchester Transport fund (GMTF) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and other sources.
Rochdale Borough Council was awarded £116,000 from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to fund the provision of a new cycle hub in the grounds of Nye Bevan House, the main health centre in Rochdale.
The LSTF awarded the authority up to £1.003m to improve access to the borough’s railway stations and Metrolink stops. By the end of 2013 LSTF had spent £2.369m in the borough.
Schemes already completed, or under construction, after funding was secured using the RBTS include:
- Rochdale Public Transport;
- Metrolink to Rochdale Railway Station and the town centre;
- Rochdale Railway Station Park and Ride;
- Townhead Junction improvements;
- Kingsway Metrolink stop;
- Cross City Bus Priority to Middleton;
- Connect 2 strategic cycle network.
Future projects which could be considered include:
- John Street to Oldham Road congestion relief - measures to reduce delays and improve junction capacity around the town centre;
- Town Centre Public Realm - traffic management improvements and pedestrian/cycling facilities;
- Rochdale Station Gateway –TfGM scheme for re-opening southern access of the underpass and enhanced access from Oldham Road
- M62 Junction 19 link Road – new route from M62 to Manchester Road;
- Town centre improvements – pedestrianisation of parts, road improvements to create a bypass and improved bus interchange facilities;
- Route between Hilton Fold Lane and Oldham Road to alleviate traffic congestion along Oldham Road corridor
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