Response to ManchesterCC LSTF consultation

GMCC response to “Local Sustainable Transport Fund Manchester Cycle Access to Regional Centre” consultation.

Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation.

General Points:

Manchester City Centre is still a long way off anything that could be considered cycle friendly. It fails the 8 to 80 test; Would you let your 8yr old or 80yr old cycle there?

We desperately need to get to the point where people can easily plan a trip by bike around or across the city on a continuous network of separated cycle lanes or well implemented lanes on roads with low traffic volumes and speed.

For example none of these proposals address the problem of cycling across the city centre NE to SW. A journey from the Northern Quarter or Shudehill to anywhere South or West by a continuous and non circuitous route involves using the length of Portland Street which is an extremely poor and dangerous environment to cycle in. East to West is not much better; A person arriving at Piccadilly station with a bicycle would have to cycle to a location such as the M&S store in St Mary’s Gate on a route at least three times as long as the journey on foot.

GMCC welcome the rolling out of 20mph zones however believe the whole area enclosed by the ring road must be made a 20mph zone and all one way streets in the centre should allow two way cycling, as has been achieved in Bristol.

These proposals should also include a city centre wide HGV ban to improve safety for people who walk and cycle and to encourage delivery of goods by smaller, safer motor vehicles and cargo bikes.

GMCC are concerned about money set aside for cycling infrastructure being used to correct mistakes made by previous, recent bad planning, design and engineering on work carried out for general road users. The best example of this being the terrible junction at Deansgate, Great Bridgewater Street and Liverpool Road which were undertaken within the last few years. The needs of cyclists should be taken into account at all levels of planning so money for sustainable transport can be used more efficiently.

The continued reliance on painted advisory cycle lanes, especially ones of less than 2m wide, are perpetuating a largely failed form of infrastructure. 1.5 metre is the bare minimum, is not good value and we cannot support them. We also propose that at parking bays at least a 0.5m buffer is required otherwise icons 1m from bay would be better. The use of Icons may help general cycle awareness however the edge must be at least 1m from kerb or parking bay.

Although advisory cycle lanes may occasionally bring minor short term improvements for cyclists they are as likely to make matters worse. We would like to encourage higher quality improvements that separate cyclists from other traffic.Experience has shown that such low level infrastructure has not been improved upon and has simply been rolled out as the ‘norm’. As proved by this proposal.

In Summary:

-GMCC cannot support yet more painted advisory cycle lanes, as these are a largely failed form of infrastructure, and would prefer any budget to be spent on doing one area to a higher standard. All sections that are just proposing 1.5m advisory cycle lanes require a more radical approach in order to make any significant impact on the quality of cycling and safety.

-We support the move to 20mph limits but would like this to extend across the whole city.This would benefit cyclists and pedestrians alike.

-We support two way cycling on all one way streets and other measures designed to improve permeability for walking and cycling in the city centre.

-When used Icons should be placed 1m from kurb or parking/loading bay.

Specific points:

Deansgate is a truly dreadful place to cycle. Directing bikes between lanes of traffic on Deansgate is not a safe proposition given the space allowed and lack of any hard infrastructure. At the Great Bridgewater Street and Liverpool Road junction drivers that ignore the left only turn and continue straight on will trap cyclists in this position. The junction at Quay Street suffers the same problem. The current plans for more narrow painted cycle ways will not improve the situation.

Great Ancoats Street
This is currently the location of one of the city centre’s most dreadful cycle lanes.The proposal does very little to improve this situation. The cycle lanes have clearly been installed to simply remove cycles from the road rather than to provide good cycling infrastructure and we cannot support anything which perpetuates this situation. The exception would be the addition of 2m wide sections enabling access to and from Port Street and Redhill Street.

Great Bridgewater Street
According to the Manchester cycling map this road is NCN route 6, but this is not acknowledged on the plans. It is unacceptable and dangerous to install substandard 1.2 meter wide cycle lanes. It is even more dangerous to install them along the side of a layby without at a 1m wide buffer for the door zone.

Liverpool Road
According to the Manchester cycling map this road is NCN route 6, but this is not acknowledged on the plans. Drivers regularly make use of the eastbound cycle lane to reach the Deansgate junction to go straight on or turn left, whilst a separate line of traffic queues to turn right. It is pointless installing cycle lanes that will end up being blocked by queuing traffic, or worse traffic accelerating to get through the junctions.

London Road
The proposals here do not include the cycle lane widths. I assume that the proposed cycle lane is only 1.5m wide and therefore inadequate. The proposal is also a non-mandatory cycle lane, so serves no useful function.

Old Mill Street
Old Mill St currently allocates space to right-turning motors which could be re-allocated for 2x protected lanes. This is a very wide road with quite a steep slope. This would have a significant impact on the use of this route if the junction with Great Ancoats Street were also re-engineered.

Port Street
This is a worthwhile contraflow cycle route that should be at least 2m wide and marked throughout the length of Port Street. Further signage will be needed in Hilton Street to warn of two way cycling in Port Street. Money intended for sustainable transport should not be used for renewal of yellow lines.

Quay Street/New Quay Street
The painted cycle lane widths proposed of 1.5m are inadequate.

Store Street
The painted cycle lane widths proposed of 1.5m are inadequate.

Vesta Street
Money intended for sustainable transport should not be used for renewal of yellow lines.


The Greater Manchester Cycling Strategy that is currently out for consultation states that they are developing at Framework 1: Route Network Development, in order to “develop a strategically planned network of dedicated, high quality, continuous routes, largely segregated from general traffic, that will appeal to a broad range of potential cyclists for whom road safety concerns are a barrier to cycling more often.”

These plans fail to live up to these expectations. Other than those items outlined above that we support GMCC would recommend that the funding be allocated to re-designing and installing high- quality cycle infrastructure in fewer areas.

Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign

23rd March 2014

Comments are closed