Sunday 30 November 2014

Tram routes & cycling meeting

A meeting has been called by the Manchester Cycle Forum to discuss the cycling routes around the tram routes for the Second City Crossing and Altrincham Road.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 4th December at 5pm in Committee Room 4 of Manchester Town Hall.

Email to confirm your attendance.

Unfortunately the tram lines are already going in so the scope for changes will be limited.

Tyldesley & Roe Green Loopline Closed

A colleague at work found his route to work along the Roe Green and Tyldesley Looplines blocked a couple of weeks ago, with no explanation.

The closure runs all the way from Worsley Station to Tynebank in Wallden.

He wasn't best pleased at having to carry his bike out onto the surrounding very busy road.

The closure notices finally appeared after two weeks.

It seems Urban Vision and Salford Council don't think that people cycling need to be given advanced warning along the route, giving them time to work out how they are going to navigate the surrounding roads. After all we don't all read their web site just in case our route to work is being closed.

Saturday 29 November 2014

November Critical Mass

Unlike October, November's Critical Mass doesn't have a natural theme round which to build a big ride. Around 80 of us set out to navigate our way through the heavy traffic. There were a couple of tight squeezes to get away from the road closures along Cross Street.

The ride turned out onto Deansgate and joined the traffic jam.

We waited patiently to get to the bottom of the road

and then turned left under the railway bridge

Once away from the traffic jam the ride moved along quite gently

We had 3 sound systems.

The ride turned south along Princess Street

and I turned for home at Grosvenor Street.

Music was One by Deepernet.

Next ride is Boxing Day.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Manchester Cycle Forum - Dec 9th

The next Manchester Cycle Forum will be held on Tuesday 9th December 2014 from 17:30 to 19:30, in the Town Hall, Committee Room 4 - use the Lloyd Street entrance.

Like the last meeting, this is going to be a packed agenda with some real problems for those wanting to improve cycling in Manchester.

Please make the effort to attend. The more of us in the meeting the more pressure we can put on the Councillors and officers to take cycling seriously and stop fobbing us off with poor quality routes.

Items on the agenda include
  • feedback on workshops on Altrincham Road / Southmoor Road Junction and City Centre Transport Strategy, 
  • City Centre Transport Strategy Update, 
  • Velocity 2025 Update, Velocity Consultation : Rusholme, 
  • Statement about Metrolink Engagement, 
  • Highway Safety - Latest Report for Greater Manchester, 
  • Announcement on Future Funding 
  • and AoB.

Monday 24 November 2014

Northern Rail Cycle Forum - 3rd Dec

The next Northern Rail Cycle Forum will be held on 3 December 2014 at the National Cycling Centre, Stuart Street, Manchester M11 4DQ. Report to British Cycling Reception on the first floor of the Centre on arrival.

AGENDA (timings are indicative)

12.30 Preliminaries, apologies and Note of Meeting held on 7 August in Harrogate (copy attached) and any matters arising.

12.45 British Cycling Campaigns (Martin Key, Campaigns Manager, British Cycling)

13.00 Northern and Merseyrail Bids to £15m Cycle-Rail Fund:

Northern bids for Manchester (Nick Vaughan,TfGM)
Northern bids for West Yorkshire
Northern Bids for Northumberland (Ian Hall)
Merseyrail bids (Andy Bristow, Merseyrail)

13.40 Progress on Approved Cycle-Rail Projects- outcome of station visits:

Network Rail Cycle Fund
Linking Places Fund- £198,000 on stations in Manchester & Cheshire
(Anthony Singleton, Vextrix Management)

14.00 Sustrans Projects in Manchester and NW (Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans Regional Director)

14.20. Northern Rail Franchise: Stakeholder Consultation (Les Webb/Simon Geller)

14.25 2014 National Cycle-Rail Awards: 26 November (Conrad Haigh)

14.40 Other Recent Developments and AOB
- Sheffield Hub (Simon Geller)
- Long Causeway & Monsal Trail (Simon Geller)
- South Yorkshire Cycle action Plan
- A Google Group for Northern Rail Cycle Forum? (Simon Geller)

15.00 Provisional Date for Next Meeting: 12 March 2015.

For further details email Les Webb
Office Volunteer/Northern Rail Cycle Forum Secretary/Leeds Ranger Group Co-ordinator
Sustrans Yorkshire and Humber Regional Office
First Floor,Leeds Bridge House Hunslet Road

Sunday 9 November 2014

Central Library Cycle Parking Update

I cycled home today past the library, as I'd been told that it was looking really good now the hoardings had been removed and that some of the bike racks were in place. However, on arrival, the first thing I noticed was that even late on a Sunday afternoon, bikes were still being locked to the tram stop railings.

Yes the place does look a lot better, but you have to look hard to find the new bike racks.

Of the pile of racks that were propped up against the ugly cabinet

a grand total of two have been installed near the Library entrance.

Yes, just two.

So what happened to the other seven?

I found four of them all the way round the other side of the building. Convenient for the town hall entrance, but I doubt people will use them when visiting the library, so people will continue locking bikes up to the tram stop railings. I went all the way round the block and could not find the other three.

I know Manchester City Council are putting together a project to put more cycle parking in the city centre, but it is really sad when an expensive scheme like this one did not include sufficient cycle parking to meet even the current demand.

Of course, one impact of this scheme was to close the cycle route across the front of the library, so one wonders if the designer hoped the bicycles would go away.

Saturday 8 November 2014

Wilmslow Road Cycleway meeting Thursday 13th November 4pm - 7pm

I received this email from Manchester Cycle Forum yesterday.

If you have not already received this email, then I suggest you email and ask to be given details of this meeting.

Dear Cycle Forum,

In the summer of 2013, Greater Manchester successfully bid with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to secure £20 million of national investment, to be spent over two years, to make cycling safer and easier in the region. Of the seven routes selected for the first phase, six routes are located or have sections within Manchester.

The Wilmslow Road Cycleway will be an improved on-highway, and largely segregated, cycle route from Wilmslow Road to East Didsbury with further links to the Trans Pennine Trail and Mersey Valley cycle paths.

The route is part of the first phase of the ambitious VĂ©locity 2025 strategy which will see cycling in Manchester transformed over the next 12 years. The Velocity 2025 cycling strategy aims to double the number of daily cyclists by 2015 – and then double it again by 2025. Manchester’s vision is for up to 10% of all journeys to be made by bicycle by 2025.

Wilmslow Road is a heavily used cycle route from Didsbury towards/from Withington, Fallowfield, Rusholme and Manchester City Centre. Using a combination of upgrading existing cycle route provision and largely segregated proposed measures for Wilmslow Road, the upgraded route will provide a high quality cycle corridor providing a strong safe link to communities of South Manchester to employment opportunities within the Regional Centre area.

To support the new cycle facilities, traffic regulation orders (TROs) will be upgraded along the route to reduced issues with on-street, all-day parking.

We would like to invite you to our drop in session on Thursday 13th November between 4pm and 7pm (room TBC) to view and comment on the associated drawings for proposed works between Platt Lane and Didsbury Village. Members of the design team will be in attendance and available to answer questions about the route and the proposals on display.

Please confirm your attendance by replying to this email. Thanks.

The plans we have seen so far have been poor quality. We need to get Manchester City Council to stop wasting money and put in good quality cycle infrastructure and stop people being injured and killed cycling along this route.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Bolton Cycle Forum - 12th November

Bolton Cycle Forum is back...

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, 12th November 2014 from 6pm to 7.30pm.

The meeting will take place at the Bolton Artillery Suite at Bolton Town Hall, Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1SA.

Access will be via the Albert Halls entrance only because of works going in in the Town Hall.

Contact Jonathan Mayo at Bolton Council to indicate whether you will be attending.

Jonathan Mayo, Secretary for Bolton Cycle Forum. Email:

Photo is of NCN Route 55 in Bolton.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Cycle Forums in Greater Manchester

I've taken on the task of getting all the cycle forums into the Love Your Bike Cycling Events Calendar and there is quite a contrast between the different councils.

Manchester Cycle Forum runs every quarter, is chaired by a city councillor and usually packs out the room it is held in. Details of the meetings are posted on the council web site, but agendas and minutes of the meetings are not posted on the web site.

Salford Cycle Forum is also held quarterly, run by the cycling officer. Details of the meeting are available on the council web site along with agendas and "Action Sheets".

Trafford Cycle Forum is held quarterly. It is chaired by a cycle campaigner rather than an officer or councillor. Agendas and Minutes are both posted on the web site and the meetings are well attended.

Oldham Cycling Forum has restarted this past year and is an ad hoc affair. There is no information on the web site and meetings have come to my attention via twitter, so I have publicised them as best I can. Some details have also been posted on the TfGM web site.

Stockport Council’s Public Cycle User Group "meets once per month in the Town Hall, and is open to all cyclists and others who have an interest in cycling." There is a web page with the most recent draft minutes. In fact the general meetings are every other month with specialised meetings in the other months. Attendance is a bit smaller.

Bolton "At long last, the Bolton Cycle Forum is back! The next meeting will be on Wednesday, 12th November 2014, starting at 6pm." First meeting will be at the The Bolton Artillery Suite, Bolton Town Hall, Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1SA. So far this information hasn't reached the council's cycling web page I could find.

Bury Cycling Forum "was established in 1996 at the request of local cyclists. Until 2011 it met four times a year to discuss cycling issues and was attended by cyclists, Council officers and occasionally, Council Members. The Council doesn't currently have a cycling officer so meetings of the forum are not being convened." So this is a dead cycle forum.

Tameside is another dead cycle forum, it folded over four years ago.

Rochdale has no sign of a cycle forum, and very little info on their web pages.

Wigan also has no sign of any consultation on cycling, there are just the usual platitudes on cycling on their web site.

Trafford Cycle Forum - 26th November

The next Trafford Cycle Forum is on the Wednesday 26th November 2014, from 6-8pm and is open to anyone to go along who has an interest in cycling. Recent forums have had reports on topics like progress on the Bridgewater Way, pictured below.

From the Trafford Council Web Site:-

The Trafford Cycle Forum is a group for local cyclists to meet and debate the issues that matter to cyclists. Meetings are always lively and interesting, with a wide range of topics being discussed. The group meets quarterly, with meetings moving around the Borough.

The next meeting of the Trafford Cycle Forum will be held on Wednesday 26th November 2014, from 6-8pm, at Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford. Future meetings are scheduled for Tuesday 17th February 2015 and Tuesday 19th May 2015 (venues to be confirmed).

If you would like to get involved in the Trafford Cycle Forum, or receive information about events for cyclists in Trafford, please contact Dominic Smith, on or by phone on 0161 912 4312.

Minutes of the last meeting.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Halloween Critical Mass

As the clocks change we enter the season of blurry photos... (if you are after pin sharp, high quality photos of the evening take a look at Dominic Torrisi's pictures of the ride)

This October's Critical Mass fell on Halloween itself. It was also the warmest Halloween on record, ending in a dry evening making for a great party atmosphere out on the streets. It was a wonderful evening where Critical Mass fitted perfectly with the mood and dress sense of the rest of the party-goers in Manchester.

Well perhaps the dress sense of Critical Mass went just a bit further...

...quite a bit further in some cases!

So many people had turned out in some sort of outfit, creepy in most cases

whilst others were sweet pussycats :)

With Cooper Street blocked off the start was a bit awkward, with a short section of tram track on Mosley Street to get onto Fountain Street.

There was a new sound system on this ride, playing motorbike engine noises along with the music!

The mood of the ride was very relaxed and in full party mode.

Some people had even dressed up their bikes too.

Lots of photos and video was taken.

And we spooked the city centre looping round through many streets twice.

All in all it was a great ride, possibly the best ever. I couldn't count all the riders, but it seemed to be well in excess of 200.

The ride kept itself to the city centre so was quite short and ended at The Angel where there was a performance by The Spokes.

Can we critical mass get any better?