Sunday, 17 April 2016

Tyldesley Loopline Update, Roe Green to Ellenbrook

I last rode the Tyldesley Loopline between Roe Green and Ellenbrook back in August 2014.

Salford council held a consultation about improving this route last December and it seems that there have been some works carried out - sadly that has resulted in the route being almost un-ridable for the time being.

Starting at the junction with the Roe Green Loopline, the path is in reasonable condition.

There are signs of the trees having been cut back, but initially the surface is rideable.

However, the path worsens at this point.

It is seriously muddy, no place for racing bikes...

After the bridge under the East Lancs Road the path goes up steeply to the left and open water appears on the trackbed.

From here the path on the top of the embankment is a bit muddy, but rideable, whilst the trackbed looks more like a lake.

Once the path returns to the trackbed things get much worse

Here the preparation works have churned up the trackbed.

At this point it is very difficult to make progress. The mud is several inches deep in places, and you get wheelspin on the flat.

These conditions last all the way to Ellenbrook and the start of the guided busway.

All in all this route is almost unrideable and well worth avoiding until Salford Council get round to finishing the upgrade works.


  1. Yes, unfortunately it was very wet when the advanced tree works were done (and still is) which meant the machinery churned up the area. I've cycled it on my Dutch bike with full mudguards but it's not the best experience! The main works will be done towards the back end of this year including major drainage works which will aim to create a 3 metre wide cycle route that will stay dry all year!

    More information here:

    1. So this route will be un-ridable for the next 6 months...

      Salford council wouldn't close a road for this length of time!

  2. Hopefully the surface installed will remain smooth/tarmac, unlike the Roe Green loopline which started as really useful tarmac but has recently had compacted gravel laid over the top of it, making it bumpy and reducing grip. Be great to know why this was done

  3. The tar and chip surface dressing on Roe Green Loopline was used to create a durable surface that fits with the semi rural environment (bitmac was felt to look too urban). I admit it can be hard to cycle on when it's first laid but once it has been swept a few times and has bedded down it becomes nicer to cycle on.

    The surface proposed for Tyldesley Loopline is the same as we've used for Port Salford Greenway which is a bound surface of 50% recycled tyres and 50% gravel so it creates a nice smooth surface for riding on.

  4. Appreciate your honesty Catriona, but your comment sums up pretty much everything wrong with cycling infrastructure in this country. Form over function. Frustrating.

    Would a road cutting through a greenfield fsite be subjected to such treatment to maintain a look, meaning it was harder to drive on? Of course not.

    Let's remember of course this used to be a railway line, so it's blight on the nautral landscape has already been caused.

    If cycling is to be seen as a viable option for people, it needs to be made accessible and the easy choice. Deliberately degrading what was honestly a good standard, direct route isn't the way to increase numbers cycling in my opinion. Was there a reason this route was left as smooth tarmac for so long before the chuipped surface was laid over?

  5. Relevant to the above, this is what a "rural" Dutch cycle facility looks like. Note the smooth asphalt.

    Looks remarkably similar to the (now spoiled) Roe Green loopline i'd say.

  6. ive been wondering why they crush gravel into the tarmac, does it make it look nicer or something? perhaps end up dying the tar a tan colour rathrr than black. anyone any ideas?