Wilmslow Road, Manchester

Wilmslow Road, Manchester

Wilmslow Road is a major thoroughfare in South Manchester, England, running from Parrs Wood to Manchester City Centre. Its name changes to Oxford Road at Whitworth Park, north of Rusholme, and changes again, to Oxford Street, when it reaches the city centre.

The road runs through the centres of Didsbury, Withington, Fallowfield and Rusholme. It is a popular bus corridor passing through the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.



In 1753, The Manchester and Wilmslow Turnpike Trust was created by act of Parliament with powers to build, maintain and improve the most northerly stretch of the Manchester to Oxford route, funded by the collection of [Toll road|tolls] [cite web |url=http://www.stockport.gov.uk/content/business/regeneration/historicareasregeneration/Conservation1/conservationareas/cheadlevillapp?a=5 |title=Cheadle Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal|publisher=EyeOnManchester|first=Aidan| last=O'Rourke|date= 2006-03-01|accessdate=2008-10-10] . In 1755, the Trust built the first stone bridge over the Mersey. This collapsed in 1756 and was rebuilt in 1758. The bridge was replaced again in 1780 and 1861.

The improved transport links spurred the development of villages along the route such as Withington. Eventually the villages would merge with each other and become part of the City of Manchester.

In 1861 the Turnpike Trust was threatened with abolition but survived by offering to build Palatine Road from Withington to West Didsbury. All turnpike trusts in the United Kingdom were abolished in 1881.

Bus Corridor

Wilmslow Road is reputed to be the busiest bus corridor in Europe [cite web |url=http://www.eyeonmanchester.com/oxford-rd-manchester-buses/ |title=Oxford Rd Manchester with Stagecoach bus|publisher=EyeOnManchester|first=Aidan| last=O'Rourke|date= 2006-10-26|accessdate=2007-09-03] . Several bus companies compete for the large number of passengers who use this route including Arriva, First Manchester, Finglands, Bullocks Coaches, Stagecoach and Magicbus (a subsidiary of Stagecoach).

The bus corridor is popular with passengers because of it's frequent buses, relatively low fares and the fact that buses can be caught on the route almost any hour of the day. Other factors causing the high number of passengers include the high density of students in the residential areas along the route and the notable features described below.

Wilmslow Road is designated a Quality Bus Corridor by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive [cite web |url=http://www.gmpte.com/pdfmaps/qbc_map2.pdf |title=Greater Manchester QBC Map|publisher=GMPTE|accessdate=2008-10-08] .

Notable Features

Sorted from North to South, although there is some overlap.
*The neoclassical Manchester Central Library stands on Saint Peter's Square at the top of Oxford Street.
*The red brick and terracotta Refuge Assurance Building has a 217 foot tower and now houses the Palace Hotel.
*New Broadcasting House is the regional headquarters of the BBC in the North West of England.
*The University of Manchester is the largest single-site university in the United Kingdom [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3706094.stm Largest single site university BBC] with over 40,000 students. It includes the neogothic Manchester Museum.
*Manchester Metropolitan University is the fourth largest university in the United Kingdom.
*The Royal Northern College of Music has a further 696 students.
*Manchester Royal Infirmary is the site for Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust.
*The Curry Mile is the stretch of Wilmslow Road in Rusholme. It boasts at least 50 restaurants, take-aways and kebab houses.
*Owens Park is a large hall of residence housing 1,056 students.
*The Christie Hospital is one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe.
*Parrs Wood High School is the fourth largest secondary school in the UK with 2,480 pupils [cite web|url=http://www.southmanchesterreporter.co.uk/news/s/502327_the_school_with_two_heads|title=The school with two heads|publisher=South Manchester Reporter|accessdate=2007-11-14] .

Boundaries and Designations

This article covers Oxford Road and Oxford Street as well as Wilmslow Road because they are a continuation of Wilmslow Road into the centre of Manchester.

Oxford Street begins at Saint Peter's Square. The name changes from Oxford Street to Oxford Road when the road crosses the River Medlock and the name changes from Oxford Road to Wilmslow Road at the junction of Hathersage Road.At the Parrs Wood end, Wilmslow Road crosses Cheadle Bridge over the River Mersey to become Manchester Road, Cheadle.

Oxford Street is part of the A34. The B5117 comprises the whole of Oxford Road and part of Wilmslow Road. Wilmslow Road also contains part of the A6010, the whole of the B5093, part of the A5145 and the whole of the B5095.

Despite these various names, the road covered by this article is one continuous thoroughfare. In contrast, a Wilmslow Road exists on the other side of Cheadle and is not covered by this article.


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