It seemed as if TfGM and Metrolink had originally planned to ban cycling along the whole 1.6km of the route, but had been told at the last minute that this wasn't a good idea as Manchester is trying to give the appearance of supporting cycling. As a result of this change of heart they have decided allow people to cycle along Cross Street and have made some minor changes and redesigned the Exchange Square platform layout. However, it soon emerged that cycling will be banned in many other ways and the impact of the Second City Crossing will be to make drive even more pedal cycles out of the centre of Manchester.
The headline is that, unlike in Mosely Street, cycling will be allowed within the swept path of the tram. However, the reality is that there is only a one meter gap between the left hand rail and the kerb, so if someone steps of the pavement in front of you, swerving to avoid them will force you into the rail slot and probably result in you ending up on the floor. In other words there won't be space for safe cycling along most of the route, and quite frankly TfGM/Metrolink don't care.
There are the usual comments about all cycle crossing of the tram lines will be at an angle of at least 60 degrees, but in practice this ignores many cycle maneuvers and where cycle crossings have been designed, they involve sharp rightangle bends on bits of pavement, so you will be better off walking.
So, as the meeting was quite chaotic and heated at times, my notes weren't necessarily comprehensive. However, here is a list of the main problems I noted, though there are many more dangers in this scheme:-
- The cycle lane by the Midland Hotel in Lower Mosley Street will be removed and cycling will be BANNED.
- The cycle route across St Peters Square is not being reinstated and cycling has been BANNED.
- Cycling along Mosley Street will continue to be BANNED.
- There will be a separate narrow cycle lane northbound from King Street to Market Street, but not Southbound on Cross Street.
- Market Street will be reversed and become one way westbound only from Cross Street to Deansgate.
- Cycling will be BANNED westbound down King Street onto Cross Street.
- The pavement kerbs will be vertical and up to 175mm high.
- Tram drivers will be instructed to stay behind people cycling in their path - wonder how long that will last.
- Cycles will be forced to wait behind trams at tram stops.
- There will be no right turn out of Shude Hill into Cross Street.
- There will be no right turn out of Cross Street into Shude Hill.
[I will try and update this post with a few more photos and map later]