Saturday, 13 December 2014

Concerns with Metrolink tram routes: Statement to Manchester Cycle Forum

The problems with the lack of consultation with the public on the design of the new Metrolink lines has reached a crisis with the very poor quality designs that are potentially very dangerous for anyone on a bicycle.

Love Your Bike helped co-ordinate a response from a range of Greater Manchester cycling organisations which was presented to the Manchester Cycle Forum on 9th December and to Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and Metrolink.

Read the full analysis of the problems with the ‘cycling provision’ at the Southmoor Road / Altrincham Road junction in Wythenshawe on the Love Your Bike web site.


Image from LyB web site.

I support this statement, though I wish to see involvement going beyond just cycling organisations and include open involvement for members of the public in the same way as the cycle forum.

Statement text: The Manchester Cycle Forum meeting of 9th December 2014:

1) Notes the serious concerns raised by British Cycling in November 2012 on the new tram lines around the Manchester Velodrome [1] and previous concerns raised by a Manchester Wheelers member in 2010 regarding the Eccles New Road route. [2]

2) Also notes that many Manchester residents already use cycle routes through Trafford Park and to Media City and that funding has been secured to build the Trafford Park Metrolink line.

3) Is dismayed that despite raising concerns over the design and provision of cycling provision alongside Metrolink routes that yet again inconvenient and, in some cases, unsafe cycling provision has again been installed on the Metrolink extension routes. Notably, the Altrincham Road / Southmoor Road junction on the Metrolink Airport route

4) Calls on Transport for Greater Manchester, Metrolink and its project contractors to ensure that:

a) remedial measures are taken to improve the cycling infrastructure provision along existing Metrolink routes;

b) future Metrolink routes, such as Trafford Park, must be designed to meet the TfGM Cycle Design guidance which outlines the 5 key criteria “for successful and effective cycling infrastructure”, namely: safety, coherence, directness, attractiveness and comfort.

c) the cycling organisations in Greater Manchester are involved from the beginning of the design process.



This statement is supported by the organisations listed below:

British Cycling, Martin Key

CTC Right to Ride, Dave Butler

GM Cycling Campaign, Jonathan Fingland

Love Your Bike, Dr Graeme Sherriff

Manchester Cycling Lab / The University of Manchester, Gabriele Schliwa

Sustrans, Rosslyn Coldersley, Regional Director

UMBUG, Kathy England
Notes

[1] Olympic coach Shane Sutton, badly hurt in bike crash, says tram lines around Manchester Velodrome are ‘death trap’ for cyclists. Manchester Evening News.

[2] Is this Dangerous? (Eccles New Rd in Salford) Manchester Wheelers.

Trafford Park Tram Plans - cycle routes will be closed for months

After some fuss trying to get the plans for the Trafford Park Metrolink out of TfGM I was sent an email containing a link to a complete set of plans online.

Why on earth TfGM didn't put a link on the notices I don't know, but there has been no publicity about these plans that I have seen beyond the paper notices.

There is good news and dreadful news on these plans.

The good news is the track alignment may have improved for cycling as most routes look like they will cross the track at right angles in more places.

The dreadful news is that most of the cycle routes will be closed for many months during construction work. For example, not only are the access paths being closed, this whole section of the towpath will be shut for the construction work.

The tram lines will smash their way through Sam Platts pub, and demolish the Wharfside Business Centre and the factory adjacent to Quay West. This is different from the original alignment in the consultation which would have run along the road.



Will update as I work my way through the details...

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Velocity Consultations Update

The consultations on Airport Cycleway and Prestwich Cycleway have now closed.

These poor quality proposals have been surveyed by Love Your Bike in detail and you can read their excellent report on their web site.

Two further consultations are open to the end of December, the Wilmslow Road Cycleway is another poor quality route and the Cheetham Hill Road Cycleway which is utter crap!

Now Manchester City Council is putting on 3 events at short notice where you can comment on the Wilmslow Road Cycleway - Didsbury - 9 December, Withington - 10 December and Fallowfield - 11 December.

More details on the web site.

It is beginning to feel like desperation on the part of the council as they begin to search for somebody to support their poor quality proposals.

However, there is something missing from these consultations - the section through Curry Mile. As far as we know this part of the route has been dropped, at least for now. This leaves a large gap in the south Manchester Route.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

MediaCity cycle route closure notice

No sooner have TfGM closed the consultation on the Trafford Park tram line than they have made moves to close the surrounding cycle routes. The building of this line will have a major impact on people commuting to MediaCity from South Manchester and Trafford in the same way that Cross Street has become a no-go route for cycling in the city centre.

This notice appeared a couple of weeks ago along the Trafford side of the Ship Canal. It is a notice of an order to close this path, which is a busy cycle route.



The order contains no plans or anything like that but just says it is giving notice of an order to close the path linking Trafford Wharf Road to the path flanking the southern bank of the Manchester Ship Canal.



To request a copy of the plans you have to email Phil.Goodfield@tfgm.com and ask for a copy of the plans. Objections have to be in by 23rd December, so we don't have long.

If this is your route too and from work please request a copy of the plans.

You are going to find your route to work closed, possibly for many months if not more than a year.



This is the view from the other side.



This route is part of NCN route 55 so I hope Sustrans will be objecting too.




Sunday, 30 November 2014

Tram routes & cycling meeting

A meeting has been called by the Manchester Cycle Forum to discuss the cycling routes around the tram routes for the Second City Crossing and Altrincham Road.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 4th December at 5pm in Committee Room 4 of Manchester Town Hall.

Email cycle.forum@manchester.gov.uk to confirm your attendance.



Unfortunately the tram lines are already going in so the scope for changes will be limited.

Tyldesley & Roe Green Loopline Closed

A colleague at work found his route to work along the Roe Green and Tyldesley Looplines blocked a couple of weeks ago, with no explanation.

The closure runs all the way from Worsley Station to Tynebank in Wallden.



He wasn't best pleased at having to carry his bike out onto the surrounding very busy road.



The closure notices finally appeared after two weeks.



It seems Urban Vision and Salford Council don't think that people cycling need to be given advanced warning along the route, giving them time to work out how they are going to navigate the surrounding roads. After all we don't all read their web site just in case our route to work is being closed.




Saturday, 29 November 2014

November Critical Mass

Unlike October, November's Critical Mass doesn't have a natural theme round which to build a big ride. Around 80 of us set out to navigate our way through the heavy traffic. There were a couple of tight squeezes to get away from the road closures along Cross Street.



The ride turned out onto Deansgate and joined the traffic jam.



We waited patiently to get to the bottom of the road



and then turned left under the railway bridge





Once away from the traffic jam the ride moved along quite gently



We had 3 sound systems.



The ride turned south along Princess Street



and I turned for home at Grosvenor Street.



Music was One by Deepernet.

Next ride is Boxing Day.