Saturday 22 February 2014

Corporation Street Route is getting worse...

The cycle route down Corporation Street is getting worse and worse as Metrolink's contractors keep digging.

The whole road is getting blocked off in places.

Heading south you get funneled in to this very narrow gap.

But then things go badly wrong. You are probably supposed to use the pavement at this point, but there are no signs.

The next bit still has signs, and it's up onto the pavement again.

The Market Street end isn't too bad, but generally it looks like the contractors have lost interest in keeping the cycle route open.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Worse Than Nothing

Some cycle facilities aren't just tokenism and a waste of money, they are also worse than nothing.

A great report by Warrington Cycle Campaign called The Effect of Cycle Lanes on Cyclists' Road Space demonstrates clearly how a 1.5m wide cycle lane reduces the amount of road-space available to cyclists.

Yes, a 1.5m wide cycle lane is worse than no cycle lane at all. Yet if you measure the cycle lanes in Greater Manchester you will struggle to find any that are wider than that and Salford have put in cycle lanes that are considerably narrower.

Then there are the shared use pavement schemes. This shared use pavement on Broadway, round the back of MediaCity apparently cost £300,000 pounds to install, but by all reports people prefer to cycle on the road, not least because of all those "cyclist dismount" signs. If anyone has more details on the Broadway Cycle Scheme I'd be interested to see where the money went.

And then there are the plain idiotic cycle facilities. Pavement lanes with traffic lights or lampposts in then are a firm favorite of mine. This is another from Salford, again part of the Broadway Cycle Scheme.

With all the money now flowing in for Velocity 2025, we need to ensure that all future cycle facilities are significant improvements on what went before.

Saturday 15 February 2014

MediaCityUK Cycle Hub Plans

On Thursday TfGM finally went public with its plans for a new Cycle Hub at MediaCity in Salford.

It was very noticeable that the press release (below) fails to mention the full costs revealed on the TfGM web site or even the number of parking places available.

Like the Manchester City Centre Cycle Hub this facility will cost users £100 per year for just cycle parking and £200 if they want to use the showers and lockers. The reaction of people at MediaCity when asked about paying for cycle parking has been extremely negative and this site could well end up over half empty like the city centre.

Despite the relatively poor facilities there is already a high level of cycling to MediaCity compared to most other places in Greater Manchester. The cycle hub will only provide 300 spaces which would be woefully inadequate, but for the high cost which will put most people off.

If you have any feedback and/or questions regarding the MediaCityUK Cycle Hub, TfGM and MediaCityUK will be holding two ‘drop in’ sessions on Thursday 20th February and Tuesday 25th February, 12-2pm in the Open Centre at MediaCityUK.

13 February 2014 Plans for MediaCityUK Cycle Hub revealed

Plans for a major new cycle hub at MediaCityUK have been submitted in a bid to encourage commuter cycling to the region’s flagship creative and digital centre.

The hub, which is being developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), would operate on a membership basis with secure parking spaces for up to 300 bikes.

A planning application has now been submitted for the development, which includes showers, toilets, changing areas and lockers. The hub will be covered by CCTV with smartcard access for members.

The hub is planned for development on land next to the BBC’s Dock House, and Orange Tower, home to ITV and the University of Salford.
If approved, it would join a growing network of cycle hubs across Greater Manchester including Manchester’s large regional centre cycle hub at City Tower, and the smaller district hubs now open in Bury and Ashton-under-Lyne.

It is hoped that, subject to the necessary approvals being granted, the MediaCityUK Cycle Hub will be open during summer 2014.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “It’s great to see MediaCityUK’s new cycle hub take that next step to becoming a reality.
“MediaCityUK is now one of the region’s major employers, with over 200 businesses on-site, and we want to make travel to work there as sustainable as possible. We already have frequent direct Metrolink and bus services and we know there is huge demand to cycle too.

“The cycle hub will allow people to leave their bikes behind in safety, as well as offering a place to take a shower and store their belongings.
“Along with affordable membership rates we hope a hub at MediaCityUK will encourage more people to join the thousands who are already commuting by bike.”

Stephen Wild, managing director of MediaCityUK, said: “Bikes have become the must-use mode of transport for persons working, living or visiting MediaCityUK, so it is fantastic to partner with TfGM to bring the cycle hub to our community.
“It promises to be a great addition and is just one of many exciting initiatives that we aim to roll out to encourage more people to get on their bikes and utilise the many safe and attractive routes that connect to MediaCityUK.”

Easy to manage, value-for-money annual and monthly hub membership options will be available, with membership starting at less than £2 a week.
TfGM is now inviting registrations of interest and feedback on the hub at Two drop-in sessions will be MediaCityUK’s Open Centre – from 12-2pm on Thursday 20 February and Tuesday 25 February – to answer questions and listen to feedback, which will help inform the final design.

TfGM is planning to open more district cycle hubs throughout the region as part of its Commuter Cycling Project, which is being supported by the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The find out more about cycling in Greater Manchester, visit


Media contact: Becky Marr on 0161 244 1055 or email

Notes to Editors
1. Transport for Greater Manchester is an executive body of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
2. Transport policies that affect the ten districts of Greater Manchester are set by the Combined Authority.
3. The Transport for Greater Manchester Committee is a Joint Committee of the Combined Authority and the ten district authorities of Greater Manchester. It oversees the work of TfGM, monitors the performance of transport services, scrutinises the delivery of transport capital projects, and advises the Combined Authority on transport policy.
4. To find out more about Transport for Greater Manchester’s recent work, please see our Annual Report at

Irwell River Path Planned Closure


It looks they are replacing the useless lighting along the tow path.

Several of the lampposts have been removed and others look like they are in the process of removal as you can see here.

It's a pity Salford Council don't include the reason for the closure in their notices...


The path has now been closed off

The diversion is out onto the rather busy and unpleasant Ordsall Lane

The other end...

No sign yet of what they are doing

Was going to post this a while back, but it's been on hold with all the other recent goings-on and unofficial river path closures.

A solitary notice appeared on one of the lamp posts by the green bridge. It is quite hard to spot and has been pasted around 3 sides of the hexagonal post making it rather difficult to read. It has not been made available on the Salford Council web site as the highway orders page hasn't been updated for over 6 months now.

The notice closes the highway River Irwell Towpath between Fairbrother Street and Woden Street for a length of 450 metres from the 10th of February and continue for a period of 3 months....

As of yesterday 14th February the path was still open, but be warned it may be closed off soon.

Last time this section was closed off two years ago there was only gardening works taking place.

Woden Street end, the green bridge.

The Fairbrother Street end.

View Path Closure in a larger map

Thursday 13 February 2014

Irwell River Path Gate Locked

The Irwell River Path has been closed for over 24 hours now by a gate that has been locked since the wind blew up yesterday.

The gate is at Exchange Quay inder the bridge that carries the tram line over from Pomona.

I found it locked at about 5pm on the 12th.

At about 9am it was still locked,

as it was at around 6pm on the 13th.

This is inconveniencing many commuters who walk or cycle to work along this path along with others who use it for other purposes.

This is not the gate that is locked at 8pm every night...

Salford Council this isn't good enough!

View Larger Map


After poking and prodding Salford Council by severa different routes the path finally reopened some time on Friday. It had been closed for around 48 hours.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Salford Armadillos Now Removed

After reporting the damage to the Armadillos on Sunday, by Tuesday morning when I walked up Middlewood Street they had all been removed.

The only sign that they had ever been there were the holes where the bolts had been. They had even retrieved the damaged armadillos from the verge.

Further along Liverpool Street I witnessed the most dreadful abuse of the cycle lane and pavement by some shit driver...

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Another Death in Manchester

It is time for the killing to stop.

As a society we do not tolerate deaths on construction sites, so why do we tolerate construction traffic killing people who are cycling?

Cyclist dies following road accident with cement mixer in Fallowfield

Picture from the Manchester Evening News

This leaves me angry...

Sunday 9 February 2014

Salford Armadillos Fail Spectacularly

Last weekend the workmen had just burnt off the inside lines of paint on Middlewood Street, but when I walked past the Armadillos had yet to be installed. Meantime TfGM were clearly keen on the idea.

So this weekend I went for a walk to see if they had been installed...

As I approached it became clear that there was something very wrong.

One Armadillo was on the pavement, a second was in the middle of the cycle lane,

and a third had been smashed into three pieces.

The one in the cycle lane was intact,

but the one on the pavement had also suffered damage.

There were also some bolts lying in the cycle lane.

In order to try to reduce the danger by putting the detached armadillos and the bolts into the scrub by the side of the pavement where they could do no further damage.

This passing rider clearly demonstrated how safe he thought the lane was by sticking very firmly to the road.

Salford council are clearly keen to hear our views on this....


This instalation has proved just how useless these armadillos are. If they cannot survive for one week in this situation then they are totally unacceptable on schemes like Oxford Road.

Furthermore the experience in Camden is that they also fail to protect the cycle lane from parking vehicles.

I hope TfGM have learnt the lessons from this and avoid cheap and nasty cycle infrastructure.

View Larger Map

Sunday 2 February 2014

Salford's Substandard Cycle Lanes

Liverpool Street in Salford is a very wide, straight, busy road with cycle lanes on both sides. With all this space and a two metre wide echeloned zone in the centre I would hope to see full width cycle lanes on both sides. Cycle-friendly Infrastructure states that:-

Cycle lanes on links should be a minimum of 1.5m and 2m wide wherever possible. (11.3.2 pg46)

So are these lanes 2.0m wide?

Nothing like it!

Even measuring to the outside of the cycle lane white line these lanes are only 1.4m wide, less than the guidance minimum, and this on a road that could easily take 2.0m wide lanes on both sides.

These lanes are also in poor condition and have intruding drains.

However, these are not the narrowest cycle lanes in the area. Take a look at this cycle lane at the eastern end of Eccles New Road. The lane starts off at around 1.4m wide then narrows suddenly.

Even worse you are then squeezed against a dangerous solid barrier.

This section of the lane has less than 0.20m of usable road surface between the double yellow lines and the white line.

In fact it is less than 0.9m wide, even if you include the gutter, the double yellow and the white lines.

It is just as bad on the opposite side of the road.

It is, of course, of a high enough standard to be included in the National Cycle Network as Route 55.

Salford Council must be proud of it!

Saturday 1 February 2014

Some Cycling Resources Links

Cycle Friendly Infrastructure (1996) The CIHT, the Bicycle Association, the Cyclist's Touring Club and the Department of Transport worked together to produce the technical guidelines - "Cycle-Friendly Infrastructure: Guidelines for Planning and Design".

Local Transport Note 2/08 October 2008 Cycle Infrastructure Design

The Archive of the Cycling England site (RIP)

CILT The Hub
"hosted by The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport - CILT(UK) - as a free source of carefully selected guidance for anyone working to get more people cycling"

CTC Cyclists' Library

CTC Briefings

Non UK Resources

CROW: Design manual for bicycle traffic from the Netherlands

Cycle Tracks: Concept and Design Practices from the USA