MONORAIL FOR MANCHESTER?
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TRANSPORT COMMITTEE PLAN
The Saf age monorail test track near Paris.
MANCHESTER transport committee will urge the city council on Wednesday to approve the first part of a plan which could provide the city with a £21m. 16-mile monorail from Ringway airport through the city centre to Middleton by 1971.
A study group from the city's transport, highways and planning committees have studied rapid transit systems throughout the world. They have decided the French Safege system offers the best solution to the city's commuter problem and will now recommend the council to commission Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd. (UK licencees of the French monorail system) to undertake a £28,000 study into the feasibility of the monorail being built along the route they suggest.
When the plan was announced last week, Mr. R. F. Bennett, Manchester's general manager, said it was time to be realistic. With the present congestion on the roads and the mixing of p.s.v. with general traffic, bus operators were no longer able to provide a service that would attract people away from their own cars.
In planning for a monorail Manchester had gone one step ahead of the much discussed separate bus lanes idea. Only in this way could the travel-to-work situation be relieved both for this generation and the next.
In specifying the 70 m.p.h. Safege system, the three committees have planned the route to follow existing roads through densely populated areas to the north and south of the city and through the main business and entertainment areas in the centre. The proposed route contains 19 stations within the 16-mile length. Terminal to terminal time will be 29 min.
Tunnelling the line for one mile in the central area is being considered.
If approved, the monorail would run along the centre of existing roads, with 18 ft. clearance between the monorail coach and the road. Roads beneath the monorail would continue to take vehicular traffic.