Friday, 28 March 2014

Black Bollards, Yellow Bollards

Update - Sunday 30th

It seems that after 3 days there is good evidence that not all drivers can see the colour yellow...

The "trial" of armadillos by Salford Council is continuing to evolve. In an ever more desperate attemp to try and demonstrate that cheap plastic lumps work Salford council have been adding bollards.

First they added two black bollards at the start of the tow lines of Armadillos, and yesterday they added two yellow bollards to the section of cycle lane further up Middlewood Street.

These seem to be designed to pre-warn drivers of the black bollard further down the road which has already sustained damage.

Of course these high-viz bollards may be more visible at night,

but they are not particularly visible in bright sunlight...

One has to wonder why this section has not been fitted with armadillos as well. Perhaps Salford council are coming to the conclusion that the bollards are actually more effective than the armadillos, or maybe they are just trying out more free samples from the supplier?

Of course these new bollards cannot possibly be a reaction to the image I posted on Twitter last Friday...

At this point I am beginning to wonder what monitoring Salford Council and TfGM have actually put in place for this "trial". I have not seen any evidence of monitoring at either of the sites, so how on earth are they going to know whether it has worked? One has to wonder what criteria they set out for this trial. I may have to submit an FoI request at some point to find out.


  1. Not sure why you think a real life testing of different approaches should be continually mocked?

    1. I for one am amused by the armadillo saga. Salford council are showing quite remarkable determination to make them work when thanks to this blog even I can see they are pointless. What are they for if they don't keep vehicles out of the cycle Lane?

    2. It should be strongly criticised because extensive research has already done by the Dutch.

    3. Wheels you are correct, the dutch are leading the way with regards to proper segregated infrastructure.

      However, they always had a high modal share, even in the dark days of "Stop de Kindermoord" Amsterdam's modal share for cycling was approx. 20% (figure provided by Marjolein de Lange from the Dutch Cycling Embassy at the recent event in Newcastle

      If a fifth of the electorate are regularly cycling and demanding action, then the political will & money to provide high quality infrastructure will follow.

      We have a fiftieth of the electorate regularly cycling and not all of those are demanding action.

      Fiddling round the edges with paint, shared use pavements and promotions haven’t increased that %, despite their being lots of evidence of latent demand. This suggests to instigate a step change in modal share you need a proper network of segregated cycling infrastructure so that lots of people can make a door to door journey and not have the paint end just when they need it most.

      Building kerbed cycle infrastructure, relocating services and drainage is expensive and time consuming.

      As an example the CS2 extension in London cost £4m for 2 miles (and is sub-dutch standard & didn’t sort out drainage, so Manchester’s Cycle City Ambition Grant of £20m would give you 10 miles of CS2 level ‘segregation’ and would take years to implement. Although 10 miles would be an improvement, would that create enough of a network for 10% of people to make all their journeys by bike?

      For £26m Seville installed 80 miles of segregated cycle network using armadillos. Seville saw a 1400% rise in modal share in three years, if Manchester saw the same rise it would become the cycling capital of the UK.

      I don’t think armadillos are the long term solution or preferable to dutch segregation (nor do I have shares in the companies that make them :) ) but I do think they offer the opportunity to build an extensive network cheaply and quickly, hopefully creating sufficient demand that something better is installed at a later date.

    4. If it worked in Seville, great (though they seem to use hefty concrete bollards rather than armadillos), but let's not defend Salford Council's attempts with armadillos as testing. It's wasteful and pointless.

  2. Seville did NOT use the armadillos that Salford is trialling.

    They used much larger concrete obstructions illustrated here

    and here

    and here

    and here

    Please check your facts!