Saturday 14 November 2015

Port Street - an exercise in blaming the victim!

I have had some time to think about the dreadful design of the contraflow cycle route down Port Street and realised that this is a physical manifestation of blame the victim for the traffic collision.

Whilst it starts off as a contraflow cycle lane, it is an advisory cycle lane so motorists are legally allowed to drive at oncoming cycles in the lane at 30mph...

The question is then why did somebody make the stupid decision to widen the pavement and force people to cycle on it?

The answer is quite clear, by forcing the cycles onto the pavement they are then obliged to give way to motor vehicles at every side entrance.

If a motor vehicle hits you whilst you are cycling across any of these entrances then you are to blame NOT THE MOTORIST!

Add to this the problem of avoiding people walking along the route and you have the worst of all worlds.

Only right at the end does the pavement get back onto the main carriageway

and again it is only an advisory cycle lane.

Perhaps the only thing they have got right are the bollards at either end...

All in all this simple task to put in a contraflow cycle route  has been turned into an exercise in blaming people cycling for being hit by motor vehicles.

Manchester City Council should be ashamed of this!


  1. That is a shocker. How expensive would it be to chalk out the plan on the road one afternoon and ask a couple of regular cyclists to give it a try and make comments? Isn't a test/re-iterate procedure pretty standard in basic design courses? Or, at least, how about careful adoption of a well-established design standard?

    I have no proper knowledge of design, but don't engineers have some kind of template for this sort of work?

    1. My LA attempted this. At the first one there was the local CTC rep, a guy from a cycling club, me & the LA's Cycling Officer. It was hard to find changes that we all agreed with that the engineer also agreed with.
      Ultimately even they weren't included in the scheme as they didn't meet internal approval but they had 'consulted with cycling groups', so it was a nice tick in a box for someone somewhere.

  2. "this simple task ... has been turned into an exercise in blaming people cycling for being hit by motor vehicles."

    It reminds me of the removal of a cyclist priority crossing over a road in Stockton, as it 'confused motorists'.

    Apparently small children cycling to school have a better understanding of road layouts than trained adults.

  3. I use that car park on the corner of Ancoats St / Port St and on the exit there is zero visibility of anything coming down that cycle lane because of the brick wall