Sunday 21 February 2016

The Cycle Route into a Bus Sandwich - Portland Street is really bad!

The plans for Portland Street were always pretty dreadful, and unlike Oxford Road, our replies to the consultation were completely ignored, and the dangerous designs have been implemented with very few changes.

This set of images follows on from last November's post Portland Street - is this Manchester's most dangerous cycle lane?

The cycle route from here is just an advisory cycle lane.

It even disappears at pedestrian crossings!

As you approach the junction with the bus station things get really bad. First there is this nasty interaction with the taxi rank,

then there is this dreadful 90 degree right turn to get across the bus lane.

This section is very dangerous. It will be far safer to cycle in the bus lane!

However, this is where it gets bonkers...

On Saturday 6th February the cycle lane carried on like this.

However, by yesterday it had become a hole in the ground! I understand there had been an invitation-only meeting at TfGM where this had been discussed, but this is just rearranging the deckchairs whilst the ship sinks. TfGM failed to listen the first time round and now public money is being wasted digging up what has already been installed.

The next section is still in place,

which leads to the tram crossing

and then more intermittent advisory cycle lane leads to the next dreadful design error.

Here you can see how the road has been narrowed, creating a narrow section of cycle lane

which is directly in the path of turning vehicles

as this bus driver demonstrated.

Then we lead into the bus sandwich.

Here you are directed into the gap between the bus stop and the bus lane

before arriving at a token ASL.

The last section is still under construction, so watch this space.

How long before someone gets badly hurt?

The safest position to be in all the way along Portland Street will be the middle of the bus lane, totally avoiding these dreadful cycle lanes.


  1. I work at MRI/Oxford Rd and live in Prestwich. I used to cycle up Portland St to Ancoats then Cheetham Hill to home. I think this new 'cycle infastructure' puts paid to that route, although I may ride/fim the result just so I can demonstrate how bad it is.

  2. Worthless. Here is my tax, just piss it away.

  3. Had the pleasure of this yesterday. How much effort and resources have been put into a cycle lane that's worse than not having one in the first place?

  4. How long have they been digging this up for and how many millions have they wasted on this?

    I'll just continue to cycle in the road/buslane when appropriate on the thankfully few occasions I have to cycle that way, traffic never moves that quickly that way anyway as so many buses and sets of traffic lights. These schemes are at best money pissed down the drain and at worst deathtraps for less experienced/more naive cyclists.

    And what's with all the token/useless bits of advisory cycle lane that end at all the places most likely to cause conflicts like sideroads and that section by the taxi rank is just wtf? Who is paid to design these things?

    Idiots. The problem is they won't be improved unless enough people complain and the media gets onboard like they did when the first Cycle 'Superhighways' were painted and criticised in London but there just aren't enough cyclists in Manchester for that to happen, car is king. The newer bits of cycling infrastructure in London are actually much better for cyclists apparently but there is a lot more political will there now.

  5. It's about time someone put a stop to this nonsense. Stop wasting good money - all it does is put cyclists in even more danger, while creating antagonism from car drivers when we don't use it.

  6. I took a look at this yesterday, and I completely agree, it is confusing not just to cyclists, but to drivers too, and when both parties become dazed and don't know where to go, accidents are going to happen. It just seems to be a maze of red and green paint with incredibly narrow traffic lanes and almost non existent cycle lanes, and the two will lead to two wheelers being crushed, effectively and actually, by not just buses, but any road traffic along this stretch.

    The unfinished section covered in this blog was slightly more finished when I looked at it, however I use the term finished very loosely indeed. Where there used to be two lanes of traffic, one to London Road, one left to Newton Street, there now is one, with buses merging across left turning traffic to go right into London Road, and the cycle lane is a thin strip of green on the inside of all this, in the path of right turning buses from the bus lane and going across left turning traffic. It's an utter confusing mess of a layout. One I will be sure not to use.

  7. Is there anybody that we can contact at the council or the Manchester Evening News about this. I was nearly killed today because of this bullshit.

    Surely somebody has to be accountable?

  8. According to Manchester City Council,
    "MCC Highways are satisfied the requisite design processes have been followed to achieve a design that is suitable for implementation and therefore no changes will be made at this stage."
    So I would suggest writing a letter for publication in the MEN detailing the danger...