A CGI of works on Henshaw Street and Albion Street Published: Thursday, 27th January 2022

A £16m project to transform streets and public areas across Oldham Town Centre has started.

Accessible Oldham will make it easier, safer and more enjoyable to travel around Oldham – especially for cyclists and pedestrians.

The first phase of works is now underway on Henshaw Street and Albion Street where we’re planting trees, putting in new seating, street art and bike parking to make the town centre more attractive and vibrant. We’re also improving the route between the town centre and bus station.

Cllr Arooj Shah, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, said: “Accessible Oldham will make a real difference to the look and feel of our town centre and complement the wider regeneration works, including the redevelopment of Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre and the creation of a brand-new park in the heart of the town centre.

“Improving Oldham isn’t just about buildings – it's about places and ensuring our town is a great place to visit, work and spend time. These improvement works will also boost walking and cycling to make sustainable travel easier than ever.”

The Accessible Oldham programme will take around four years to complete. The first phase on Henshaw Street/Albion Street is scheduled to last around 14 months.

Pedestrian access will be provided at all times and businesses will be open as normal. Vehicle movements will be affected from time-to-time and may need to follow diversion routes.

The Town Centre Street Market has relocated to allow the works to take place. The Street Market, which is held on Fridays and Saturdays, is now located on the High Street in front of Primark and the feature flower bed.  

Accessible Oldham will also bring Oldham’s first CYCLOPS junction to the borough, at Egerton Street/St Mary’s Way - a key route into the town centre. The unique junction design separates people travelling on foot and by bike from motor traffic, reducing the possibility of collisions or conflict.

The junction will be part of the Greater Manchester Bee Network – which aims to create the UK’s largest cycling and walking network and make walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys.

Other projects taking place as part of Accessible Oldham are:

  • Fountain Street: improvements to footpaths and roads. Re-locating the taxi rank to the nearby car park which will also be upgraded, and new disabled parking bays installed.
  • West Street/Cheapside: Developing a cycle route and improved pedestrian link to and from Oldham Leisure Centre on Rochdale Road and Oldham King Street Metrolink stop. Re-routing buses away from West Street to create a traffic-free zone.
  • Market Place and Curzon Street: improvements to support the creation of cycle routes in and around the town centre.
  • Lord Street/High Street: Pedestrianisation of the lower end of Lord Street and High Street and public open space improvements.
  • A new access into the Southlink development site at the Oldham Way/Prince Street junction.
  • Improved access around Tommyfield Market Hall into the High Street including replacing bollards with a new entry/exit system for vehicles.

Accessible Oldham is being funded after Oldham Council successfully bid for financial support from a number of external funding pots. They include the Government’s Local Growth Deal, Future High Streets Fund and the GM Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund.

Oldham-based Rowan Ashworth Ltd has been appointed to carry out the works. With a focus on social value, they will also help to create new jobs, training opportunities and boost the local economy and Oldham supply chain.

Cllr Shah added: “As a co-operative council we are committed to acting in a socially responsible way and influencing those we work with to do the same.

“We want to secure the maximum possible value from every pound of public money that we spend, so we look forward to seeing Accessible Oldham making a difference not just to our town centre but to local people and businesses across Oldham.”

Stuart Lowe, Director at Rowan Ashworth Ltd, said: “We share Oldham Council’s vision to create positive change in Oldham. We are really proud to be playing an important role in improving our hometown.

"With our continued commitment we hope Oldham residents can be proud of where we live, and together, have a better future.”

For more information and updates on the scheme visit www.oldham.gov.uk/accessibleoldham

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