Sunday, 22 November 2015

Port Salford Greenway Phase 2

Salford Council are consulting on phase 2 of the Salford Greenway.

Plans showing the proposed phase two improvements are on display at Winton and Worsley libraries until Friday 27 November 2015.

There will be a drop in session at each library where you can discuss the proposals with the team:

Winton Library: 4.30pm to 6.30pm, Monday 23 November.
Worsley Library: 4.30 to 6.30pm, Thursday 26 November.

More details at

Clean City Programme: Sites for public cycle stands across Manchester

As part of a new Clean City programme Manchester City Council is planning on installing new cycling parking across the city and they would like your help to identify suitable sites for around 1,000 public cycle parking clusters.

They say they also have some funding to install innovative cycle parking. So if you have any suggestions of locations or types of cycle parking that would fall in to this category, please let us know by completing the online form.

The council will generally favour locations suitable for clusters of cycle stands or in some cases ‘toast racks’ rather than single racks and say they are best installed where there is a good light and good natural surveillance, not tucked away out of sight.

Some local organisations made separate Clean City bids for bike parking, and these locations are being considered as part of this project. Manchester City Council has already identified locations to install a significant number of cycle parking stands in St Peter’s Square, following a great deal of feedback on twitter and from this blog.

The form can be completed online at - ends 22nd December.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Portland Street - is this Manchester's most dangerous cycle lane?

Now the Portland Street roadworks are beginning to subside the damage done to cycle access to this part of the city center is becoming clear. Here are a series of photographs I took this morning whilst walking along Portland street. They are all in sequence and show just how dangerous this new section of cycle lane really is.

Any sensible person would keep well to the right at this point and hold the centre of the traffic lane, but anyone tempted to ride in the cycle lane at this point is putting them in severe danger of ending up under a bus. We told TfGM just how inadequate their proposals for cycling along Portland Street were, but they totally ignored us and changed nothing.

Here you see one bus in the bus stop whilst a second pulls up.

Then a third bus stops completely blocking the cycle lane.

And a fourth bus then covers up the cycle lane completely. Note the warning to cyclists not to pass a bus on the left hand side!

The buses all then pull away

but continue to block the cycle lane

and do so even as they cross the traffic lights.

The sequence then repeats a few moments later

Just imagine trying to cycle through this!

When looked at from the other direction you can see how buses held at the lights on pulling out of the bus stop also block the cycle lane.

And yes you can see this dreadful design in the original publicity video.

The engineer who designed this should be forced to cycle up and down Portland Street on a busy Saturday morning until they work out the error of their ways.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Castlefield Utilities/Cycle Bridge Scheme Update...

Back in February I took a look at the progress of the Castlefield Utilities/Cycle Bridge Scheme and following my FoI request to Manchester City Council I discovered that it had not been built to the plans submitted to Manchester City Council. Apparently my request triggered a flurry of activity to try and sort the mess out.

Then a couple of months ago I went to a public PR exercise by the Network Rail Northern Programme at MOSI about the Ordsall Chord. There I was told that work was going to take place to fix the problems that had been highlighted by Salford and Manchester Councils and these works would be completed by 14th October and on that date Princes Street bridge would be closed and demolition would begin...

So works on the Ordsall Chord are already running over a month late as Princes Bridge is still open.

Though works have taken place on the Salford side.

On Trinity Way southbound, the cycle lane is now subsumed into the pavement before the junction.

The cycle crossing has been retained, but now without the jug-handle approach and the shared use pavement has been widened under the bridge.

Coming out from under the bridge a new yellow sign directs you back into the cycle lane for Trinity Way, but over the new bridge for NCN route 6.

However, the new bridge is still closed.

Access to the towpath is also still blocked, and the zig-zag down to the towpath is dreadful.

The cycle lane is still open along Trinity way and the pavement has now reopened.

At the other end of the new bridge the pavement has been reshaped slightly, but it is still not according to the original design which would have involved the cost of moving the BT box on the corner.

The Manchester end of the bridge is also blocked off. Note the obsession with telling people to slow down!

On the corner of Trinity way and Water Street there is a yellow CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign with room for another sign above. It is not at all clear what this sign applies to.

Going left round into Water Street the pavement has been resurfaced, removing the  slippery concrete paving.

The shared use pavement ends in a right angled turn into a new, narrow cycle lane

which comes to an abrupt end long before the junction with Liverpool Road.

On the opposite side of the road a new and wider cycle lane starts just after the coach parking bays.

Though this Moxons coach was parked on top of it.

Past the junction with New Elm Road the cycle lane narrows abruptly

just before the fork left to the Trinity Way crossing.

The cycle lane then turns sharp left into the pavement.

This then takes you up to the traffic lights at Trinity Way.

Here there is another yellow CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign along with a NCN 6 sign pointing across the pedestrian crossing

This explains why there are CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs. Manchester City Council has failed to insist that Network Rail Northern Programme upgrade the crossing to shared use.

So the diversion of NCN 6 for the removal of Princes Bridge is still a cock up and now features the we-couldn't-give-a-shit CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs that simply shouldn't be allowed.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Port Street - an exercise in blaming the victim!

I have had some time to think about the dreadful design of the contraflow cycle route down Port Street and realised that this is a physical manifestation of blame the victim for the traffic collision.

Whilst it starts off as a contraflow cycle lane, it is an advisory cycle lane so motorists are legally allowed to drive at oncoming cycles in the lane at 30mph...

The question is then why did somebody make the stupid decision to widen the pavement and force people to cycle on it?

The answer is quite clear, by forcing the cycles onto the pavement they are then obliged to give way to motor vehicles at every side entrance.

If a motor vehicle hits you whilst you are cycling across any of these entrances then you are to blame NOT THE MOTORIST!

Add to this the problem of avoiding people walking along the route and you have the worst of all worlds.

Only right at the end does the pavement get back onto the main carriageway

and again it is only an advisory cycle lane.

Perhaps the only thing they have got right are the bollards at either end...

All in all this simple task to put in a contraflow cycle route  has been turned into an exercise in blaming people cycling for being hit by motor vehicles.

Manchester City Council should be ashamed of this!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Station Cycle Parking - Crewe

On my way home from Chester recently I changed trains at Crewe.

Whilst waiting for my connection I discovered that this station has plenty of cycle parking - on the platforms.

There is the usual disclaimer notice,

but the facilities provided look pretty good.

This cycle parking is provided on a number of platforms.

It is secure and under cover,

and for bonus points...

there is a pump

and a maintenance stand

provided by the local council and Virgin trains.

Sadly, such facilities are not provided at Manchester Piccadilly station. Here the attitude is totally different.

All the cycle parking is outside with no cycle parking at all on the platforms, despite the large area which could be used for cycle parking between platform 10 and 11.