Monday 28 November 2011

Salford Quays - Swing Bridge Closed All Week

Update - seems it may be open in the evenings


The swing bridge over the ship canal in MediaCity will be closed all week for maintenance, it should reopen by the evening of Friday 2nd December.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Cooper Street - Contraflow Blockages

What use is a contraflow cycle lane without parking enforcement?

Sod all really! Three times last week this contraflow cycle lane in Cooper Street was obstructed by vans or lorries loading during the morning rush hour.

It's not as if the cycle lane isn't protected by no loading orders, it's just that there is little enforcement of road traffic law in the city and almost none when it comes to the obstruction of cycle facilities.

There is a large loading bay in adjacent Kennedy Street which is specifically designated for deliveries to this area.

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Wednesday 23 November 2011

Violent bus driver walks free from court

The MEN reported last week how a "Bus driver repeatedly punched 65-year-old cyclist - for complaining he had been cut up on Portland Street". The, now former, bus driver "walked free from court having been found guilty of common assault by beating – after magistrates were told he had been made homeless after losing his job at bus firm Finglands." It seems that punching an old man is ok if he's riding a bicycle!

In my experience the standard of driving by some Finglands drivers is dreadful, and this particular driver even took the trouble to open his window and shout abuse at me.

The poor state of the bus services in Manchester is a product of bus deregulation by the Thatcher government. Bus companies actively compete for passengers along hot spots like Oxford Road, increasing danger for pedestrians, bus passengers and those riding bicycles.

Monday 21 November 2011

"Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet"

Mikael Colville-Andersen speaks out against the culture of fear.

"The bicycle is hot all over the world"

For further reading here is the link to the European Cyclists Federation's page about helmets: and a link to their "Ask Me Why I Cycle Without a Helmet" campaign mentioned in the talk: (you are free to download the pdf of the button and brochure)

An interview with the Dutch Cyclists Federation - Fietsersbond - on the subject:

A link to the helmet policy of the French FUBICY (bicycle users org) in English:


Sunday 20 November 2011

Colour Crazy November Critical Mass


Meet at 6pm at Central Library M1

This month we encourage everyone to get on their brightest and most clashing colours ever..imagine a pot of rainbow paint has sloshed all over you + your bike. This is in celebration of our long standing critical masser Anna who is leaving our fair city....

Critical mass is a bike ride that happens in our city and cities all over the world every last Friday of the month.

Critical Mass rides began in San Francisco in 1992 and rides spread around the United States and the world with over 200 rides taking place in 2006.

Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization licenses rides. In every city that has a Critical Mass ride, some locals simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicised it, and thus the ride was born. Critical Mass is an idea and an event, not an organization.

It is a great way to meet other cyclists and to have a fun bike ride. It is not a fast ride and often children come too, everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the bicycle!

More info here...

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Michael Hartmann - car-walking

Michael Hartmann confronted truly horrific levels of pavement parking in Munich by ‘car walking’ and then went on to challenge motorists sole right to the road by waking in the road to slow the traffic..

He started this in 1988 and it resulted in numerous arrests, time in jail, time in hospital and being sent for psychiatric testing twice. He responded by saying that he wouldn’t stop and that he was the one who was sane. He also got a lot of publicity and was sent many letters of support.

Pavement parking isn't quite that bad in Manchester at the moment. If anything things seem to be a bit better now on Sundays in the city centre with the new parking restrictions.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Blockage on Princes Bridge - NCN 6

Normally it looks like this

but today it had become a camp site full of caravans.

National Cycle Network Route 6 has become a camp site for what looks like a film unit.

I have emailed our local city centre councillor to find out who in the council gave permission to obstruct a busy cycling and walking route without any notice or public consultation being posted on the route.

This camp site could have been set up in the car park next to this bridge, but presumably it was cheaper to obstruct the cycle route.



Later that evening there was also a car parked across the end of the row of caravans which must have been driven up the pavement to get there.

The following day it was clear that most people ended up cycling along the pavement rather than try and stick to the road up between the caravans.

It was also clear from the permits on the vehicles that they did not have permission to close the road.



I have now received a response from the council's parking manager via my local councillor Kevin Peel

We have spoken to the Film Unit Manager, who has apologised if they were obstructing any access, although they consider they were not parked in a manner which was blocking the cycle lane.

We did receive a request from the Filming Unit to park vehicles and they did apply for a dispensation. The Dispensation has strict criteria that vehicles must not be parked in a manner which could obstruct or incontinence other road users.

It is evident that the vehicles are parked on the bridge over the river Irwell which is the boundary between Manchester and Salford. As soon as you made us aware of this issue we contact the film crew advising them of the complaint received, requesting they park in a manner that does not obstruct others, including the cycle lane, and issued them with a warning that the Dispensation to park could be withdrawn.

Filming at this location has now finished, however, should we receive any further requests we will highlight the need to park correctly at this location.

And by the Friday morning the place looked more or less back to its normal state, even including the regular dozing taxi driver who used to park blocking the path, but has now been persuaded by passing cyclists touse the other side of the road.

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Irwell River Park: Part 2 - Extended opening hours

Irwell River Park: Part 2 - River Park Central was due to be locked after 3pm from 1st November.

However, it was still unlocked at 7:30 pm today and has not been locked every evening this month.

My guess is that they are sticking to the summer opening hours of 8am to 8pm to allow people to cycle home from Salford Docks now that MediaCity is fully open.

My only word of caution is that the lighting is pretty poor, and has failed completely along one section, so a good front light is advisable to spot other people and the dog shit...

Sunday 6 November 2011

Ashton Canal - Chips to the ISIS offices

The south west most part of the Ashton Canal cycle route has reopened. It's only a short section between the Chips development and the ISIS offices, but it makes the route more pleasant and means you no longer have to use the a difficult ramp.

At this point the path has been moved slightly and the new bridge added where the canal is now joined to the marina development.

The cycle way then leaves the canal tow path at the ISIS offices.

About a mile up the canal, past MERCi to where the canal curves round the river, we saw a kingfisher this morning. This really is a lovely route.

View Chips to ISIS in a larger map