A busy town centre junction is set to be transformed to make it fit for cyclists and pedestrians.
It is all part of a revolutionary town centre biking and walking route designed to help make journeys quicker and safer.
Plans have been unveiled for a new Cycle Optimised Protected Signals junction — or CYCLOPS — the first of which is expected to be located at the junctions of Trinity and Newport Street.
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. Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, said: “The CYCLOPS approach makes foot and bike travel far safer and more direct without disrupting other modes.
“It is frankly genius and we’ll soon be wondering why we ever did anything else.”
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 will not negatively impact motor traffic, they claim.
Current UK junction designs typically position cyclists on the nearside of road lanes allowing vehicles to pass on the offside.
However this can cause “left-hook” incidents where cyclists going ahead are hit by vehicles in the same lane but turning left.
The concept has also earned international praise from designers.
Skye Duncan, director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative, said: “It is great to see Greater Manchester embrace the concept of protected intersections for cyclists.
“This is a new global approach to design and each country is finding its own way to deliver them.
“We are particularly excited that the Greater Manchester approach allows for diagonal movement for people walking and protection for their cyclists where they need it most.”