Thursday 28 May 2020

Oxford Street Popup Cycle Lane Closure Signs...

Here's a sorry tale of anti-cycling measures that ends well for a change.

Whilst the executive member of the council appearing on TV extolling the virtues of cycling and walking, the council officers, who are much less enthusiastic about cycling, were making plans to close the cycle lanes on Oxford Street in Central Manchester.

I first noticed the markings on the road...

Then the signs appeared...

However, it turns out that the executive member had seen the plans and blocked them, so words have been had and the signs have been removed.

I know these cycle lanes are pretty crap, but they are better than having a queue of buses up your backside!

Deansgate Victory - Cycle Ban Lifted

Thanks to the assistance of one of the ward councillors the cycling ban on Deansgate has been lifted, at least as far as the signs go.

This is a very important change, because whilst the cycling ban was in place the police could arbitrarily target people cycling in the area, and as we have often seen in the past there are PCSOs who love getting in the local press for their anti cycling campaigns.

I have yet to see the amended traffic order, I understand there were other problems with the one way working past Parsonage Gardens where some very influential people live...

However, the fact still remains that the rest of Deansgate is still a four lane race track when there is plenty of space for popup cycle lanes.

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Deansgate Update

I now have a copy of the traffic order, thanks to our local councillor.

The key problem is the Prohibition of Vehicular Traffic. There is no exception for cycles.

Strangely though the signs have been removed this morning, so watch this space...

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Deansgate: don't believe the hype.

There has been a lot of bullshit in the past few days about new popup cycle facilities in the media. However the reality on the ground in central Manchester is looking grim. The much vaunted closure of Deansgate is only a short section at the northern end of the street. Here is a video of the full length of Deansgate, shot last Sunday 17th May.

The rest of Deansgate is still being used as a racetrack by motorists now there are few other drivers to block their way. Speeds of 50-60mph are not uncommon.

Not only that but the details of the closure are unclear. The council web site states that "This will provide a shared space for both pedestrians and cyclists." see However the signage at the closure is for "No Vehicles"

This indicates that the closure excludes cycling, the Highway Code states the sign means "No vehicles except pedal cycles being pushed by hand"

see page 17 of

So either the signage is wrong and needs to be changed or the council web site and press releases are incorrect in saying that this section of the road is open for cycling.

Secondly the signage further south down Deansgate where the road is still open is significantly narrowing the pavement

causing people to have to walk in the road to keep 2m distancing. This is very dangerous, with the dangerous driving along this streatch.

In other parts of central Manchester, like Oxford Road the new writing on the road strongly suggests that cycle lanes are going to be closed in order to widen the pavements.

I may have to resort to FoI requests to find out what the traffic orders actually say.