A MULTI-million pound cycling junction has opened in Bolton town centre.

Newport Street and Trinity Street junction has been transformed to the tune of £2.4 million to create the UK's second innovative CYCLOPS ­— Cycle Optimised Protected Signals ­— junction.

Work to transform the busy intersection started seven months ago and is part of wider £7.6 million scheme designed to, say transport bosses, "deliver a more integrated network in Bolton town centre".

The scheme, which hopes to enhance cycling and pedestrian access around the town centre, will feature an “orbital cycle route”, offering bikes a dedicated space away from other road traffic.

The CYCLOPS design separates people travelling on foot and by bike from motor traffic, reducing the possibility of collisions or conflict.

People on foot can also get where they need to be in fewer stages and with more space to wait than most junctions.

The other CYCLOPS junctions being created inlcude Angouleme Way / Market Street, in Bury, with work set to be completed by the summer.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Councillor Stuart Haslam, said: “It is great that the work on the innovative CYCLOPS junction is now complete. It is part of a package of improvements which we are delivering in Bolton town centre to make travel easier and safer for everyone.

“Motorists will benefit from reduced journey times, pedestrians will find it easier to cross this busy section of road and it is also better for cyclists whether they are turning at the junction or going straight ahead. The road and pavement surfaces at the junction are also much improved.

“It is a truly original design which gives consideration to all road users, and will make it easier for us all to get around.”

Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The CYCLOPS design is going to fundamentally change the way we do junctions. The experience for people travelling on foot and by bike is so vastly improved. Junctions are traditionally the most intimidating place for people not travelling in a car but this design turns that on its head, making once-scary local trips now an absolute joy.