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 https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/500352/roadworks_and_closures/7959/deansgate_temporary_closure/2 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 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519129/know-your-traffic-signs.pdf

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.

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