Monday 26 March 2012

Victoria Street Closure

I am pretty sure the traffic orders for Victoria Street only close it off for motor vehicles. However, the City Council web site doesn't seem to have the documentation on-line so I can't double check.

Anyway, the situation going north is far from satisfactory. Here the traffic straddles the red traffic light which has been thoughtfully placed in the cycle lane.

Even worse the traffic light has been placed behind the advanced stop line so anyone on a bike cannot see the traffic light! This is very dangerous as you need to get into the ASL as almost all the traffic will swing left without indicating.

Then there is the dreadful "Cyclists Dismount and Use Footway" sign which immediately tells you that things are about to get a lot worse.

If you do head down Victoria Street you will now find that the road now diverts left into the car park,

and you have to get onto the pavement to keep going.

For a brief while there is wide open traffic free road,

before another obstruction forces you back on the pavement.

Finally you have to cross the road with no assistance whatsoever.

Coming back the other way is just as bad.

And again, some thoughtful person has placed the traffic lights where cyclists can't see them!

This scheme could do so much to persuade drivers out of their cars and onto a bicycle. However, the council has made it quite clear that they don't want cyclists round here either.

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  1. Thanks for highlighting the problems.

    I complained to the council and received the following reply from Dave Whyte (principal policy officer):
    I have consulted with highways colleagues and they have confirmed that the closure and "cyclists dismount" sign is temporary until we finish constructing the temporary footpath.

    Once the drop kerbs are in and temporary fences are removed then cyclists will be able to cycle through Victoria Street. Highways have been asked to do this as quickly as possible.

    1. Is temporary?

      Why on earth couldn't they sort out a temporary solution that accommodated cycling?

      There is one simple reason... they don't care!

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  3. Dave Whyte has emailed again to say that he's "spoken with colleagues in Highways who have informed me that the temporary barriers have been re-arranged so that cyclists can access Victoria Street".

    I'll be honest. I don't cycle that way on a daily basis so I can't comment directly until I've gone that way again, but I did appreciate the fact that he'd looked into it and got back to me. I guess we can just make sure our voice is heard and hope the end result benefits cyclists.

  4. Tim

    The problem is that there may be one or two people in Highways who care about cycling, but the rest quite frankly couldn't give a dam.

    There are deep problems with the way highway infrastructure works in Manchester - traffic light phasing, lane widths, road repair, and many more. All actively discriminate against pedestrians and cyclists. This is just one small example that shows how little care is taken in the city.

  5. When councils get things wrong at this level, they put people - including cyclists - at risk of injury.

    What a pity that the same targets and methods the Dutch government adopted in the 70s didn't filter into the UK?

    Perhaps we too could have enjoyed a life without respiratory diseases, heart diseases and depression which would staunch the haemorrhaging of money from our NHS for health conditions brought about by a an economic structure that destroys our right to breath clean air?