Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Medlock Way Cycleway Consultation

Just received this email from Manchester Council's Cycle Forum. Nothing like giving plenty of notice...

From: cycle.forum@manchester.gov.uk

Dear All,

The consultation for the proposed cycle link from the Mancunian Way Toucan Crossing via Medlock Street to the City Centre is available on the Council website.

Closing date for comments is the 5th October.

See attached link http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200024/consultations_and_surveys/6665/better_by_cycle/8

Yet another sticking plaster measure from Manchester City Council. This time it's turning a short section of pavement into a shared use cycleway.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sweet September Critical Mass

With the nights drawing in rapidly, this month's ride rolled out at sunset.

We turned south down Bridge Street heading into Salford.

For some reason there were a number of impatient motorbike riders this month, pushing round the ride

Then along Chapel Street

and back up Victoria Bridge Street returning to Manchester.

By this time some of the riders were warming to the music. I was riding the only sound system this time. Two other regular riders had left theirs at home. There was a really good mix of people this month and a very gentle atmosphere.

After sitting in the traffic jams on Deansgate it was back for a second pass through Albert Square

and into the roadworks on Portland Street where the potholes are dreadful.

After a quick run through the Northern Quarter and an about turn in Back Turner Street, it was across the tram tracks and down Shude Hill

and carefully along Corporation Street.

Then back past the Cathedral

before a second run down Deansgate

and on to Castlefield Arena to meet up with the Fire Jam.

Video by Hill Billy

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Cycling in the Rain

The level of rainfall in Amsterdam isn't that much different from Manchester, but they cycle in style.

When was the last time you saw someone cycling in Manchester using an umbrella?

Monday, 31 August 2015

Delph Donkey Line - Delph to Undermill

The Delph Donkey path is on the old trackbed of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) branch linking Delph with the Huddersfield line, which is still in use today.

Starting out from Delph New Road, just down from the junction with Oldham Road the site of the old station is marked by this sign.

The path goes into a small housing estate on Station Approach.

As Station Approach turns to the left the route of the railway goes onto waste ground.

Here a developer blocked the route back in 2008, but nothing came of it and the fences have been broken down, though the access is over a steep bump.

The path covers the waste ground that was to be the development,

and exits through another broken down fence. Here the steps on the left go down to the road.

Now the path gains a good surface and is reasonably well maintained.

After the first bridge

is the site of Measurements Station marked by another board.

Now the path surface widens and the view opens up to the right,

and then as the land rises to the left there is more to see on the left.

This bridge goes under Wall Hill Road at an angle,

Then after the path curves to the left this short tunnel goes under Streethouse Lane.

Just beyond a house driveway interupts the path on the level with two sets of barriers.

The barriers are set too narrow for many bicycles.

The view now opens out to the left

and this is the most pleasant of the picnic benches, it's the only one with a good view.

Shortly after is the site of Dobcross Station, just before the bridge over Ladcastle Road.

It also has a station board.

The final section of the path ends in another barrier.

The trackbed continues as a footpath for a short way before reaching the railway line.

Here the end of the path is marked by a simple wooden sign.

You can reach the Huddersfield Narrow Canal by going down the road under the old trackbed.

As the road turns right go straight down to reach the canal under the railway viaduct.

Speed bumps, locked gates, loose chippings and new dismount signs - Making cycling inconvenient on the Ashton Canal

When I walked along the Ashton Canal back in April the resurfacing was still underway. Progress was promising, with a good quality tarmac surface being laid, though the work did seem to be rather slow. This route is part of the Velocity plans, so the money has come from cycling budgets.

Four months later and the final touches are mostly done.

Final touches designed to make cycling uncomfortable, noisy, dangerous and inconvenient.

Speed bumps

Yes, speed bumps!

So, you put down a decent tarmac surface, then ruin it with these cobbled bumps. There are scores of them all along the path. Total waste of money, money that's supposed to encourage cycling not discourage it.

Locked Gates

Yes, gates which have been open are now locked.

This was last year...

and now. Try getting a bike and child trailer through this - impossible without lifting it over. Remember this is a Velocity route that is supposed to encourage cycling not discourage it.

Loose Chippings

Remember that lovely smooth tarmac surface in the first photo?

Well forget it!

Almost the entire route has been covered in a thick layer of loose chippings. This makes progress along the path slow and noisy, and if that dog runs out in-front of you your brakes will simply lock up so don't bother with the front brake if you want to remain upright.

and then there are the holes, but I'll get to them later...

Cyclists Dismount

Yes, the signs of failure are everywhere, many of them new, presumably paid for with Velocity money. So cycling money is being spent telling people to get off and walk.

There have always been dismount signs on this route, but they are multiplying, thanks to Velocity funding.

The main excuse for them is the narrow path under the bridges.

But no attempt has been made to widen the path or provide alternatives, and in most cases nothing has been done to repair the poor surfaces under the bridges.

Likewise the cobbled surfaces by the locks have not been repaired, despite being in a dreadful condition.


Yes, there has been some attempt to put in lighting - solar powered lights in the path, white, except above some locks

where they are red. However, they are unlikely to provide sufficient lighting to persuade most people to cycle along this route in the dark. Many of these lights are shaded by fences & trees so they won't charge up in the winter when they are most needed.

Only a few of these lights have gone in so far at the Manchester end, the rest of the path is covered in holes.

I know from posts on Twitter that many people have gone back to cycling on the road, because the Ashton Canal path is now really inconvenient for daily commuting. Looks like TfGM and the Canal and River Trust have managed to divert cycling money into upgrading a footpath whilst discouraging people from cycling on it.