Law firm reveals Manchester's most dangerous junctions for cyclists

List published as CTC and Sustrans call for government money to improve safety of cyclists nationwide, not just in London

by Simon_MacMichael   March 22, 2012  

Oxford Road, Manchester (Pete Birkinshaw, Wikimedia Commons)

Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ on Wilmslow Road has been named the city’s biggest blackspot for cyclists, according to figures compiled by personal injury solicitors Levenes, which specialises, among other things, in helping injured cyclists including through a dedicated website, cycleinjury.co.uk.

The law firm, which based its research on government data, says that since 2006 some 65 cyclists have been injured on the stretch of road between Moss Lane East and Claremont Road, according to a report in the Manchester Evening News.

Levenes partner Tim Beasely commented: “Accidents happen for many reasons, but when you get some many crashes on one particular location, action should be taken."

Yesterday’s Budget from Chancellor George Osborne provided £15 million for Transport for London to make conditions safer at junctions in the capital, but as both Sustrans and CTC pointed out, cycle safety is not an issue exclusive to London, and money also needs to be spent elsewhere – a point illustrated by Levenes’ research.

Last year, Greater Manchester Council successfully bid for £4.9 million from the Local Sustainable Travel Fund in connection with cycling projects in the city. That money, however, will go towards initiatives such as cycle parking, including secure compounds, as well as cycle training.

The Manchester Evening News has reported, however, that the council does intend to remove parked cars from Oxford Road – the continuation of Wilmslow Road to the north, towards the city centre – as well as introducing segregated cycle lanes there.

Pete Abel of local cycle campaigners Love Your Bike told the newspaper: "Many people enjoy cycling in Greater Manchester and find it a safe and healthy activity.

"However, cycle lanes, facilities and respect for all road users can be improved.

"Love Your Bike encourages all local authorities to help make cycling easier and safer so that even more Mancunians can enjoy the benefits of cycling."

Councillor Paul Andrews, the council’s executive member for neighbourhood services, said: "We’d like to encourage more people to use their bikes while making sure it’s safe for them to do so," pointing out that some 50 locations in the city already have 20mph speed limits and that it is planned to extend that limit to all residential streets other than major roads.

He also said that the council intended to bid for more money for segregated cycle lanes, adding: "As well as this, we have provided free cycle safety training for more than 500 people, many of whom have told us they now feel much more confident."

Dave Newton, transport strategy manager at Transport for Greater Manchester, added: "We are committed to encouraging more people to take up cycling.

“There are a variety of factors that can affect road safety, and we are working to deliver improvements where we can by designing in a variety of cycling measures."

Manchester’s most dangerous junctions according to Levenes

Junction Cyclists injured since 2006

Wilmslow Road/Wilbraham Road/Moseley Road 25
Wilmslow Road/Walmer Street 25
Deansgate/Peter Street 19
Kingsway/Chester Road/Edge Lane 16
Dickenson Road/Stanley Grove/Stockport Road 16
High Lane/Barlow Moor Road/Sandy Lane 16
Wilmslow Road/Great Western Street 14
Wilmslow Road/Claremont Road 12
Bolton Road/Manchester Road roundabout 12
Wilmslow Road/Moss Lane East 11

9 user comments

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LOL!
"The Manchester Evening Road has reported..", Freudian slip there, Shouldn't that be Manchester Evening News?? Big Grin

DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 9:57

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Indeed it should. And now it is Smile

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7187 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 10:09

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Zero suprise there - the Curry Mile is one of the most dangerously unpredictable stretches of road I know - day or night; a devastating combination of rude-boys parading their blinged-up motors, endless double-deckers squeezing through tightly-parked cars on both sides of the road (and by the way - nowehere else are you more likely to be 'car-doored' than here), pissed-up biryani-fiends blithely strolling off the pavement and students cruising two-abreast on fashion bikes, oblivious to the above-mentioned hazards.

Happily, it's also fairly easy to avoid and though I don't normally advocate such a thing, here is a case where we'd be better off simply removing the cycle lane altogether and redirecting pedal-powered traffic to the far-safer parallel backstreets.

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posted by Ghedebrav [758 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 10:49

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Curry mile might also have a lot of crashes because a lot of cyclists use it, and it is a handy direct route to take.

Having just seen substantial cycle count results from a decade ago for Moseley Street and Balloon Street (both with cycle bans to accommodate tram tracks, and both important cross-city routes for cycling - so people use them.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

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posted by A V Lowe [397 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 11:13

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Ghedebrav and AV Lowe, I'll take the University Corridor / Rusholme (Curry Mile) and its hazards over Upper Brook Street / Anson road route out of town any day.
At least in Rusholme traffic is moving at my speed (door swiping dodging acknowledged) rather than the racing down Upper Brook Street that happens.

As the report states junctions, it didn't include any figures for the new cycle lane down the middle of the road outside Owen's Park. I've not seen anything happen there but I'm not there during rush hour, has anyone else seen anything unfortunate occur there?

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posted by Joselito [107 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 11:31

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There's a trade-off, isn't there? Do you want the cars whizzing past you as you're forced to ride millimetres from the kerb, or do you prefer the unpredictability of the slower but more eventful route with careening blind-spotted buses and blinkered pedestrians striding confidently into the road or cycle lane without looking?

Neither option is great. And if the Oxford Road cycle facilities prove nothing else, it's that off-road segregation of the 'shared use' variety can make things even worse (or indeed, proof that if a stretch of roadside looks like a pavement, no matter who clearly you mark it as 'cycling only' pedestrians will use it as a pavement). I avoid the cycle path and take my chances with the buses.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [758 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 11:48

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That's 60 in a 2000ft stretch of Rusholme, plus another 41 just a couple of minutes pedalling away. I live way too close to them...

Sorry, but the elephant in the room here is the policing and enforcement; it's non-existent in those areas. Never gets discussed for fear of the r-word being raised. Not suggesting it's a particular race of people causing the accidents, just that the Council's reluctance to enforce is turning the area into a law unto itself. Sad

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2445 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 13:12

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I hear what notfastenough is saying. The blatant and seemingly tolerated abuses that happen in that stretch is mystifying. I know Parking Enforcement isnt supposed to be target driven but if they just put two attendants in Rusholme full time they would be able to build gold plated monorails all over the city with the money raised. Or perhaps that is the point - they have found that ticketing is just ignored and find it more profitable to target easier prey in the city centre.
Rusholme is perfect for anyone who wants a lesson in bad, selfish and dangerous driving and parking.

posted by Some Fella [573 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 18:54

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I'd definitely take Upper Brook Street over Wilmslow Road, however I do pretty much the full length of the A6 between Stockport to Manchester, which involves a junction on the list.

The reason that junction is so bad, Dickinson Road/Stockport Road/Stanley Grove, is due to the cycle lanes they have there. Completely unusable at best, or possibly the work of a twisted evil genius who was once spurned by a cyclist and has set about reaping his revenge.

posted by farrell [880 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 1:18

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