Monday 28 December 2015

December Christical Mass

This year Critical Mass fell on Christmas Day, but that didn't stop the ride. A few of us asked if others were interested and Hannah posted the ride on Facebook which meant the ride was on.

We gathered outside the library as usual,

with a good display of seasonal lights on some bikes.

Whilst the ride was small in number

the general lack of motor traffic meant this wasn't a problem.

However, despite it being Christmas Day the new contraflow cycle lanes in Chinatown were still blocked by taxis.

It was nice to ride along Deansgate with so few cars.

However, eventually the rain set in quite hard and the remaining riders went looking for somewhere open. I'd thought the Wharf would be open, but it had closed by 5pm.

It was great to get out on a bike on Christmas Day. Always a special day for cycling, and doubly so when it is Critical Mass.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Tyldesley Loopline consultation - 11th-18th December

Salford Council is proposing to improve the entire length of Tyldesley Loopline between Roe Green Loopline in Beesley Green and where it meets the new cycleway along the guided busway at Newearth Road.

This route is in desperate need of major works. It is pretty muddy in places after rain and has steep slopes and sharp turns. You can see more details in this post Tyldesley Loopline 2, Roe Green to Ellenbrook.

A public exhibition of the plans are on display at Beesley Green Community Centre from Friday 11th December to Friday 18th December and the council will be holding a drop in session there between 4pm and 6pm on Tuesday 15th December for anyone who would like more information or to discuss any particular issues. Assuming people support the proposals, the council intends to start the advanced tree works in January/February (outside of the bird nesting season) and then carry out the main works over the summer.

More information including the feasibility drawings and consultation boards are available at:

Please support these proposals as they will make a major difference, joining together a number of good quality routes. If you are unable to attend in person contact Catriona Swanson to comment on the scheme.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Corporation Street Part 2 - heading south...

Part 1 Northbound

Heading south there is a lonely ASL at the junction with Hanover Street. No sign of a feeder cycle lane here.

Next you cross the tram tracks, not too much of a problem here as the crossing is more or less at right angles.

Then a cycle lane appears by the Coop Bank. The lane markings are ambivalent, so not sure if it is supposed to be mandatory or not. It then gets somewhat stranger,

rising to pavement level, presumably to avoid the cost of re-positioning these access covers

returning to road level as the buses swing in from Port Street. From here the cycle lane is definitely advisory, so will be blocked by taxis much of the time.

Again we get these pointless green squares

and an ASL crossing the tram tracks.

As the buses swing left there is this floating cycle lane going straight on

and onto a paved section

which terminates in this idiotic manner.

This last piece of crap design has already been posted several times on Twitter by people angry at this design. It deserves to be posted many more times.

Corporation St, Part 1 - heading north...

With the Exchange Square tram stop opening it's time to review the cycle provision along Corporation street to see if they made any improvements after a meeting held this time last year when we told Metrolink and several local councillors what we thought of their (anti-)cycling plans.

This is the view from Market Street - note the "Tram Only" and no entry signs...

This nasty kink in the kerb looks like the end of the cycle lane that was shown on the original plans.

From here you will be expected to cycle in the 1 metre gap between the kerb and rails,

and wait behind trams at the stop.

As you reach the junction there is this dreadful ASL, which is in any case not technically legal...

As you get alongside the Football Museum there is this advisory cycle lane with crap green squares and an ambulance standing by to deal with the consequences of the next section.

At the junction with Todd Street the cycle lane vanishes, but watch out for the buses that swing left into Todd Street,

and then we reach the most dangerous section. Here you are expected to cross tram lines at a very shallow angle with traffic coming up behind you.

The angle is bad on both tracks, so if the first set doesn't get you, the second one will.

Clearly TfGM/Metrolink couldn't care less...

Part 2 Southbound

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Manchester Cycle Forum, 8/12/15

The next Manchester Cycle Forum will take place on 8th December 2015 at 17:15 – 19:15 in Committee Room 4 at the Town Hall.


* Welcome and Introductions
* Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
* Feedback from Consultative Cycle Reference Group
* Enforcement
* Cycle Training and Campaigns
* Infrastructure Update
* Report from Cycling Groups / Partner Organisations
* Any Other Business

Sunday 22 November 2015

Port Salford Greenway Phase 2

Salford Council are consulting on phase 2 of the Salford Greenway.

Plans showing the proposed phase two improvements are on display at Winton and Worsley libraries until Friday 27 November 2015.

There will be a drop in session at each library where you can discuss the proposals with the team:

Winton Library: 4.30pm to 6.30pm, Monday 23 November.
Worsley Library: 4.30 to 6.30pm, Thursday 26 November.

More details at

Clean City Programme: Sites for public cycle stands across Manchester

As part of a new Clean City programme Manchester City Council is planning on installing new cycling parking across the city and they would like your help to identify suitable sites for around 1,000 public cycle parking clusters.

They say they also have some funding to install innovative cycle parking. So if you have any suggestions of locations or types of cycle parking that would fall in to this category, please let us know by completing the online form.

The council will generally favour locations suitable for clusters of cycle stands or in some cases ‘toast racks’ rather than single racks and say they are best installed where there is a good light and good natural surveillance, not tucked away out of sight.

Some local organisations made separate Clean City bids for bike parking, and these locations are being considered as part of this project. Manchester City Council has already identified locations to install a significant number of cycle parking stands in St Peter’s Square, following a great deal of feedback on twitter and from this blog.

The form can be completed online at - ends 22nd December.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Portland Street - is this Manchester's most dangerous cycle lane?

Now the Portland Street roadworks are beginning to subside the damage done to cycle access to this part of the city center is becoming clear. Here are a series of photographs I took this morning whilst walking along Portland street. They are all in sequence and show just how dangerous this new section of cycle lane really is.

Any sensible person would keep well to the right at this point and hold the centre of the traffic lane, but anyone tempted to ride in the cycle lane at this point is putting them in severe danger of ending up under a bus. We told TfGM just how inadequate their proposals for cycling along Portland Street were, but they totally ignored us and changed nothing.

Here you see one bus in the bus stop whilst a second pulls up.

Then a third bus stops completely blocking the cycle lane.

And a fourth bus then covers up the cycle lane completely. Note the warning to cyclists not to pass a bus on the left hand side!

The buses all then pull away

but continue to block the cycle lane

and do so even as they cross the traffic lights.

The sequence then repeats a few moments later

Just imagine trying to cycle through this!

When looked at from the other direction you can see how buses held at the lights on pulling out of the bus stop also block the cycle lane.

And yes you can see this dreadful design in the original publicity video.

The engineer who designed this should be forced to cycle up and down Portland Street on a busy Saturday morning until they work out the error of their ways.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Castlefield Utilities/Cycle Bridge Scheme Update...

Back in February I took a look at the progress of the Castlefield Utilities/Cycle Bridge Scheme and following my FoI request to Manchester City Council I discovered that it had not been built to the plans submitted to Manchester City Council. Apparently my request triggered a flurry of activity to try and sort the mess out.

Then a couple of months ago I went to a public PR exercise by the Network Rail Northern Programme at MOSI about the Ordsall Chord. There I was told that work was going to take place to fix the problems that had been highlighted by Salford and Manchester Councils and these works would be completed by 14th October and on that date Princes Street bridge would be closed and demolition would begin...

So works on the Ordsall Chord are already running over a month late as Princes Bridge is still open.

Though works have taken place on the Salford side.

On Trinity Way southbound, the cycle lane is now subsumed into the pavement before the junction.

The cycle crossing has been retained, but now without the jug-handle approach and the shared use pavement has been widened under the bridge.

Coming out from under the bridge a new yellow sign directs you back into the cycle lane for Trinity Way, but over the new bridge for NCN route 6.

However, the new bridge is still closed.

Access to the towpath is also still blocked, and the zig-zag down to the towpath is dreadful.

The cycle lane is still open along Trinity way and the pavement has now reopened.

At the other end of the new bridge the pavement has been reshaped slightly, but it is still not according to the original design which would have involved the cost of moving the BT box on the corner.

The Manchester end of the bridge is also blocked off. Note the obsession with telling people to slow down!

On the corner of Trinity way and Water Street there is a yellow CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign with room for another sign above. It is not at all clear what this sign applies to.

Going left round into Water Street the pavement has been resurfaced, removing the  slippery concrete paving.

The shared use pavement ends in a right angled turn into a new, narrow cycle lane

which comes to an abrupt end long before the junction with Liverpool Road.

On the opposite side of the road a new and wider cycle lane starts just after the coach parking bays.

Though this Moxons coach was parked on top of it.

Past the junction with New Elm Road the cycle lane narrows abruptly

just before the fork left to the Trinity Way crossing.

The cycle lane then turns sharp left into the pavement.

This then takes you up to the traffic lights at Trinity Way.

Here there is another yellow CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign along with a NCN 6 sign pointing across the pedestrian crossing

This explains why there are CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs. Manchester City Council has failed to insist that Network Rail Northern Programme upgrade the crossing to shared use.

So the diversion of NCN 6 for the removal of Princes Bridge is still a cock up and now features the we-couldn't-give-a-shit CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs that simply shouldn't be allowed.