Sunday, 24 May 2015

Bike Month Manchester 2015

Only a few days to go to the start of the third BikeMonthMCR which runs for the whole of June.

Bike Month Manchester is collated by Love Your Bike with support from Manchester City Council.

There are hundreds of events already with plenty going on for all interesting in enjoying cycling. More details on the BikeMonthMCR web site.


Great Manchester Cycle – 28th June
Big Bike Revival – 23rd May – 7th June
Bike Friday – 26th June
Cycle Hack 19th – 21st June
North West Velo Fest – 5th – 14th June
Social Rides Every Thursday

Monday, 18 May 2015

Destruction of a cycle track

In many cities in the UK they are building new cycle tracks, but in Manchester they are being destroyed. These signs have recently been erected to tell us that our cycle route has been closed.

However, there is no alternative route signposted, nothing at all.

It is a case of tough shit, no more cycle track, no more bus stop bypass, you now have to cycle through the bus stop!

The cycle route sign still exists, behind bars.

The other side of the fence you can see that the cycle track has already been destroyed.

Almost all of it has been removed.

So, how on earth has Manchester City Council allowed this to happen? I don't know, but if anyone can find the planning documents for the Water Street Project, we may be able to find out.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Trafford Cycle Forum - 19th May 2015

19th May 2015 – Thomas De Trafford Conference Room A & B - Trafford Town Hall - 1st Floor



1. Welcome and introductions

2. Outstanding Actions and Minutes from last meeting

3. Sale Public Realm – Stephen James (Trafford Council)

4. Stretford Public Strategy - Mike Reed (Trafford Council)

5. S106 funding – Melanie Craven/Rob Haslam (Trafford Council)

6. 20mph Speed Limits - Vincent Walsh (20’s Plenty group)

7. Major Scheme Update

8. Dates of next meetings and items for discussion at future meetings

Wednesday 16th September

Wednesday 18th November

9. Any other business by prior notification to the Chair or Secretary

Salford Cycle Forum - Thursday 14 May

The next meeting of the Salford Cycle Forum will be held on Thursday 14 May at 6pm in Committee Room 3, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 5BY.


1. Welcome and introductions

2. Action sheet from the last meeting

3. Matters Arising

4. Cycle accident statistics 2014/15
Report on accidents and discussion on potential improvements.

5. SalfordCycleStrategy
Review of draft strategy and discussion.

6. 2015/16 Schemes
NCN55 Roe Green Loopline
Linnyshaw Loopline
Broughton Links

7. CycleCityAmbitionGrant1&2
Update on progress / design discussion

8. Member Items/AOB

9. Future Meeting Dates

16 July 2015
15 October 2015

Contact officer: Lee Evans Regeneration Team 0161 793 3801

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Bridgewater Way resurfacing preview - Pomona Strand to Castlefield

This route is one of the Velocity 2025 cycle routes. It's a nice new footpath along the Bridgewater canal, but it is a very poor quality cycle route, and in places quite dangerous.

I joined the path at Pomona Strand, near Old Trafford Football Ground, here the towpath crosses the canal on an iron bridge.

The path seemed to be open, so I assumed that the work had been finished.

The path has been cut back to make it as wide as possible, and finished with a gravel surface.

However, it was soon apparent that this surface was not fit for cycling. It is a deep loose gravel surface that is not bonded together, and my bike squirmed around quite alarmingly.

The path continues under the tram line, it is wide enough at this point, but it is quite uneven and feels like it is pushing the bike towards the water.

and then reaches this bridge under Pomona Strand.

Here the path turns to cobbles and narrows alarmingly under the bridge.

Under the bridge the path is extremely narrow and cobbled with no railings to stop you falling in the water. This is so narrow that no tricycle, cycle trailer or hand cycle would be able to get safely through.

This route is simply unfit for purpose as a cycle track.

The canal then passes under the railway and tramlines.

Here the towpath goes over several cobbled bridges that rise over the entry to the many wharfs. At this point the barriers at various alarming angles made me think the path isn't quite finished yet.

There are more narrow passages under bridges with cobbled surfaces.

These cobbled bridges are quiet steep and narrow, and the path becomes very busy here.

Finally the path passes under a closed pedestrian bridge where the paving stones are dangerous

and out into Castlefield Basin via another set of cobbles, or mud if you prefer.

The cycle route is then due to go round Caslefield Basin, past the Wharf Pub and emerge at the bottom of Deansgate.

This is a useful upgrade to the footpath along the Bridgewater canal, but it is a crap cycle route, and really quite dangerous. I hate to think how much cycling money has been wasted on this route when it could have been spent on upgrading one of the many parallel routes.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ashton Canal Update

A quick update on the resurfacing of the Ashton Canal towpath as part of the Velocity 2025 works. We managed to walk the entire canal today in the sunshine and saw the progress being made. The first section of the canal path is unchanged.

There was some litter picking and planting being done by volunteers around New Islington.

The sections of cobbles at the locks are as bad as ever, and getting worse with the water and frost damage over the winter.

The Cyclists dismount signs have not been removed.

The wide section of path along the side of the Football Academy is now beginning to look good with the new trees planted. This was not part of the Velocity works.

Unfortunately the anti-cycling barriers have not been removed - this is the only one where the gate remains locked, though wider machines can get a bit more space on the right.

The new section of tarmac starts just after Clayton Lane.

Though the cobbles are not being covered, which is dangerous.

What this does mean is that it is now possible to reach the Stockport Branch Canal route from the centre of Manchester without having to cycle through mud.

At Crabtree Lane there is more sign of the work being in progress.

Along this section some of the locks didn't have cobbles so the path is fully tarmaced.

Again the barriers have not been removed.

The tarmac currently runs out at the Marina in Fairfield, the junction with the old Holinwood Branch Canal.

The path is gravel from here awaiting the tarmac finish.

After the bridge under Market Street, the tarmac returns. Care is needed at this point as it is the works base. It is good to see that they are using the canal to transport the stone from this point.

Unfortunately whilst the path itself is going to have a high quality finish for most of the way, the same can't be said for the access paths at the moment.

The tarmac ends just before the Hill Lane bridge.

From here some sections have yet to get the gravel foundation.

The last section of gravel

ends at the bridge under the M60 motorway.

From here on there has been nothing done to the path and e saw several people cycling gingerly through the mud.

Those on road and touring bikes were not doing at all well.

The path is very bad in places.

The last section through Guide Bridge isn't too bad

and the sign just before the junction with the Peek Forest Canal suggests that the resurfacing will get this far.

For updates on the path works and closures you can go to the Canal and River Trust web site.