Sunday 29 March 2015

Bridgewater Way, Monton Green to Worsley

This is a continuation of the Bridgewater Way, Manchester Ship Canal to Monton Green and also links to the start of the Tyldesley Loopline.

There is access here from Parrin Lane which is carried over the canal on the bridge that was built for the trams.

From here the towpath is wide enough and well surfaced.

The canal at this point is almost rural.

The path on the other bank is around Broadoak Park.

Beyond the park, the canal turns to the left and there is a tasteless new housing development. It is the equivalent of a 4x4 parked on the pavement. It is completely out of touch with the surroundings.

The houses beyond are even more bizarre...

The canal then turns to the right again,

and passes Worsley Dry Docks on the opposite bank.

The canal now passes under a footbridge

and heads towards the Delph.

Here the access to the coal mines branches off the far bank as the canal turns sharply to the left.

Then it passes under Burton Road.

Watch out this is very narrow!

After the bridge is this crain.

The canal then passes under the M60 motorway

and one of its sliproads.

The surfaced path comes to a halt just after the bridge, at what looks like a water feed from a reservoir, though my normal sources haven't come up with confirmation of this.

Bridgewater Way, Manchester Ship Canal to Monton Green

This post follows on from Bridgewater Way, Mosley Rd to the Ship Canal. Following the nasty left turn out onto the road you go straight onto the Barton Swing Bridge. This is a pretty horrible experience, narrow with almost no pavement, drivers seem especially impatient here and will overtake cycles quite dangerously.

After the following junction and a short climb, the traffic calms down a bit and the canal reappears on the right. Unfortunately the tow path is very narrow at this point and you have to lift over the continuous Armco barrier which is designed to prevent idiots driving into the canal....

This section is best walked. You pass a small boatyard on the other bank,

then pass under Patricroft Bridge which carries the A57 Liverpool Road.

Past the bridge the path becomes ridable, though the barrier is continuous here too.

Not until after Worsley Road turns away from the canal is there a gap in the barrier. Here the road, Hall Bank, is fairly quiet. A little further on, the path passes under Stephenson's Liverpool to Manchester Railway.

North of the railway the area on the opposite bank is mostly industrial ruins and wasteland.

There is a short section of towpath which is barriered. Here the surface is heavily distorted by large tree roots and is quite narrow.

The path improves again and the canal then passes under the M602 motorway. Here there are lilies growing in the canal.

After the motorway, housing appears on the opposite bank and the water in the canal now begins to look a muddy shade of orange. The pollution comes from the coal mines at Worsley, further along the canal.

This is Monton Green, which now has this fake lighthouse as an unmistakable landmark. This sits opposite a conveniently places pub called Crompton's at the Waterside.

From this point you can continue along the canal towpath to Worsley, or get off the towpath, out onto the road across the bridge and join the Tyldesley Loopline.

Saturday 28 March 2015

Bridgewater Way, Mosley Rd to Europa Gate via Watersmeet

This is the newly resurfaced part of the Bridgewater Canal route from the back of the Kellogg's Factory to near the container terminal in Trafford Park.This route description joins up with the start of this post; Bridgewater Way, Mosley Rd to the Ship Canal.

Six months ago it looked like this...

Now you can see the engineering work that has gone into repairing the towpath as you head east.

The canal goes under Moss Road.

Someone has forgotten to remove the NO CYCLING signs from this bridge.

It is then a short way to Watersmeet.

You can follow the route south from here on this post The Bridgewater Way - MediaCity to Brooklands.

From here go  left up over the bridge - this is a case of get off and push for most bikes.

Looking back west at the path.

On the other side there is a path being built linking back to Moss Road.

The newly laid path continues north.

A new access ramp has been built by the footbridge and old railway bridge.

The underside of the old railway bridge is quite atmospheric.

The next bridge is under Europa Gate.

Here the new surface ends abruptly with lots of signs saying the path is closed.

The diversion takes you out via this rubbish strewn path

and out onto Europa Way.

It is a short section of canal, but with the cycle tracks in Trafford Park this is a useful link in the traffic free network.

MCRwomenbike March Critical Mass

This was the first critical mass of the year to rolled off with some light still in the sky, and the MCRwomenbike theme had encouraged many more people to join the ride.

The city seemed to have quite a party mood from the start. We were greeted warmly as we passed China Town, this group were waving and photographing us.

There were quite a few youngsters on the ride, including this tandem with child seat.

The group was quite large and held together well, safely taking the road space.

Crossing over Canal Street...

There were at least 3 sound systems again, and with the large number of riders we were mostly able to keep well spaced.

Into Thomas Street,

adding to the Friday night party mood.

Unusually there were at least 3 tandems on the ride.

The ride ended by heading north into Ancoats.

Riding through quiet streets was a contrasting experience with the city centre.

The finale of the ride was returning towards the centre down Oldham Road with the half moon and Venus clearly visible in the sky.

A magical moment of calm on what is normally a busy road with speeding traffic.

The ride ended at Popup Bikes for the MCRwomenbike Closing Party, with pedal powered music, a rolling slide show of all the photos and the wonderful Anna PowWow running the show & handing out the prizes.

A great evening out!