Wednesday 28 December 2011

Manchester Cycling Strategy - consultation drafts

Update: The second document was indeed an earlier draft with a different name and FoE have since deleted it from their Scribd pages.


These are two consultation documents that you won't find on the City Council's web site. They have been posted online by Manchester FoE .

The first is called an "Interim Strategy for Cycling in Manchester" and dated December 2011 and the second is called "A Strategy for Cycling in Manchester 2011-2015" and dated November 2011.

As far as I can work out they are two different attempts at the same document, and the council has just changed the working title. The documents appear to have been circulated to people who manage to attend the council's cycle forum.

Either way round, at a first glance the story seems to be yet more timid measures that won't have any real impact. This document is being produced because of a Memorandum of Understanding between British Cycling and the City Council. Unfortunately this means that it is big on events that promote British Cycling's main sponsor and not so good on the things that really matter like removing the many barriers to cycling in this city.

We may well see more of this because the council doesn't want to upset motorists by giving too much road space over to bicycles, and the Lib Dem opposition are falling over themselves to curry favor with drivers who clog up and pollute the City Centre. So much for the LibDems being environmentally friendly.

And it is in the interest of British Cycling for us all to ride round Manchester advertising Sky.

Manchester FoE say that you should send your comments to Dave Whyte via d.whyte(at) by the end of January.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Two way driving on one way streets

You really have to take care at junctions in Manchester, because you never know when a car is going to emerge the wrong way from a side road...

It seems that the local drivers don't take much notice of one way streets round here, particulally around Deansgate.

And this one was by the Council House...

Still, it demonstrates two way working of one way streets, something that can now be done on these streets for bicycles with minimum cost.


and more info on contraflow cycling from the CTC

Thursday 15 December 2011

Irwell River Park - Width Restriction Update

The situation along here has got much worse. There are now three sets of scaffolding here, forcing people on bikes to ride over the docks metalwork, so quite dangerous. Even more worrying is the amount of rubble which has fallen onto the path, including broken bricks and mortar. This clearly isn't a safe place to be when the construction site is running.

UPDATE - some photos (yes it was snowing on Friday morning)

This machine is causing the damage

These bricks had come down all over the path the previous evening - they had been pushed back under the scaffolding by the morning.

and the path is now very narrow.

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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Sunday 11 December 2011

Irwell River Park - Width Restriction

Scaffolding has gone up between the Regent Road Bridge and the Woden Street Footbridge.

The Path is completely blocked apart from the part between the light and the railings. There is only just enough width for an ordinary bike, so tricycles and anything wider will be forced onto the road.

Looking South

Looking North

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Saturday 10 December 2011

Hi-Viz and Helmets - for cars?

It seems that the (BMW) Mini is setting a new trend in Hi-Viz cars. I've spotted one or two of them sitting in traffic jams in Manchester, but I haven't grabbed a decent photo yet, so here's one I found online.

Pic from

Of course this mirrors a familiar approach to cycle wear...

Pic by manchesterfoe

Now all we need are for BMW to promote car helmets as well...

photos via Copenhagenize

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Warwick Road - pushing cycling onto the pavement

What do you do when a cycle lane gets in the way of increasing the level of on-road parking right outside Trafford Town Hall? You look for help from your local partners of course.

"Using funding of £410k from Sustrans Links to School grant and £600k from Trafford Council Section 106 contributions," you "improve" conditions for pedestrians and cyclists by shoving the bike lane onto the pavement. Of course increasing the number of on-road parking spaces is a great way to encourage cycling.

This is part of the "Old Trafford Cycle Link" or NCN Route 55. Look at this image of the junction of Barlow Road and Warwick Road from Google Maps

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Notice how the cycle lane continues past the junction, unlike the map view which shows a set of parking spaces in place of the cycle lane.

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These photos, taken back in June, tell the sorry story.

The old cycle lane's white line has been scratched out and has been replaced by a line which moves outward to the width of the new car parking spaces which replace the cycle lane. The pavement edge has then been dropped and bikes are now supposed to go onto a fairly busy pavement.

Bikes are then supposed to cross Hornby Road using this dubious crossing,

only to rejoin the road a few yards later at the approach to a busy road junction.

The inevitable cyclists dismount sign marks the end of the on-pavement part.

A passing cyclist takes the more sensible route, staying well out in the road to avoid being hit by car doors.

Still at least the Town Hall now has a few more useful parking spaces.

(If you think this is bad then go and have a look at Warwick Road South.)

View Larger Map

Sunday 4 December 2011

Cycling for Everyone - Dutch Video

From Amsterdamize

Cycling For Everyone from Dutch Cycling Embassy on Vimeo.

It's rather twee, but if you've ever been to the place and seen the school run with 3 kids to a bike you'll know that the shots aren't atypical. This is actually a promotional video for an industrial and academic consortium called the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

It shows what can be done when space is reallocated from motor vehicles to bicycles in a comprehensive fashion. The Dutch Cycling Embassy as an organisation can't directly claim any credit for the situation in the Netherlands, as it has only been running for a few months and the increase in cycling can be traced back to the change in government policies in the 1970s. However, it does seem to be built with longstanding organisations like Fietsberaad.