Manchester to improve some of its most dangerous junctions for cyclists

News welcomed by cycling groups in the city

by Sarah Barth   April 21, 2013  

City Tower, Manchester

Some of the most dangerous junctions in Manchester are to be reviewed, with £200,000 earmarked for improvements, in a move that has been welcomed by the city's cycling groups.

One of the first to be looked at will be that of Wilmslow Road, Wilbraham Road, and Moseley Road in Fallowfield, which local cyclists say is treacherous, and located in one of the busiest areas of South Manchester.

Manchester Wheelers’ Club say they welcome the council's plans, which are due to be completed by March 2014.

“It is extremely important to all of us that cyclist safety is taken seriously by Manchester City Council so it is reassuring to see them looking at new measures,” club vice-president Viv Slack told Mancunian Matters.

“The Wilmslow Road area is a popular route for many cyclists but always feels fairly dangerous with cars and buses pulling in and out of parking spaces and side roads, often without checking mirrors or indicating.

“If segregated junctions for cyclists has improved safety in other countries, I am glad it is something being considered for Manchester.”

The plans include cycle lanes and cycle-only traffic lights.

The area is popular with students and it's estimated that more than 2,000 cyclists pass through the area every day, making it ten times as busy as any other cycle route in the city.

Viv Slack said that the decision to improve the junction is progress, but that more needs to be done to improve roads in the city. Previously a lot of resources have gone into cycle hubs in the centre of town, but she says that this should not be the main focus.

“Ideally we would love to see some dedicated cycle routes during rush hour as has been implemented in many big cities,” she said.

“We often support charities working to improve road safety with riding events and raising sponsorship.

“Encouraging cycling by providing secure lock-ups and changing facilities is nice but what we really need are safer roads.

“Anything the council can do to decrease those risks is really important to all of us and our families.”

23 user comments

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I don't think the Wilmslow/Wilbraham/Moseley junction is *that* bad. Much more treacherous is closer into town on Wilmslow Road at the top of the curry mile near the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op - especially heading south, as a hitherto well-marked cycle path simply stops, with no obvious route to follow out onto the road.Fine for regular commuters, but not great for the inexperienced folks who we really want to be getting onto bikes.

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posted by Ghedebrav [796 posts]
21st April 2013 - 11:42

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[rant=on]That particular junction is busy but relatively safe if approached with confidence and caution. The southbound shared used cyclepath/pavement just north of the junction and southbound bus stop by Sainsburys south of the junction are complete nightmares though.

Keep going south down towards Withington, and it turns into a deathtrap on EPO, steroids and crack cocaine. Either a narrow single carriageway, or off the road onto a pseudo cyclepath / shared used pavement littered with bollards, trees and suicidal pedestrians. Thanks, I'll take my risks on the road.

Alternatively, head north into Rusholme's Curry Mile, and be prepared for some of the most rampantly psychotic and unpredictable road behaviour seen outside of rush hour Paris. People coming out of laybys without warning, random T-bones, and people doing U turns because God "told them to". That's the drivers. Pedestrians - any idea why I'm singing the M.A.S.H. theme tune when you walk off the pavement 5 yards from my front wheel? Use the pelican crossing and I will stop if there's a red light. Which, incidentally, will make me one of the 10% of cyclists who actually does stop at red lights on Wilmslow Road. The other 90%, well it's just that much more fun catching and dropping them when the light turns green.

Did I mention that Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road is the mostly heavily used bus route in Europe? Whoops! I did! Well, happy to rectify that, and special hello to Stagecoach and Finglands bus drivers and I really hope you don't have pets or matches at home. In summary, improving the Wilmslow Road/Wilbraham Road junction is like treating a fresh decapitation with a sticking plaster. You're not thinking big enough. Cyclists are better off using the Upper Brook St-Kingsway (A34), Stockport Road (A6) or Princess Parkway (A5103), and forgetting Wilmslow Road ever existed.[/rant]

posted by Argos74 [185 posts]
21st April 2013 - 12:30

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Parrswood junction is also a bit daunting, especially going from cheadle village towards Heaton Mersey. If you're fast and confident it's doable, but hardly encouraging to new riders.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2535 posts]
21st April 2013 - 12:32

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Improving a couple of junctions will do nothing if it is not safe to cycle between those junctions, that means
NO CYCLE LANES THAT SHARE SPACE WITH PAVEMENTS,
POTHOLES ARE REPAIRED PROPERLY SO IT IS POSSIBLE FOR CYCLISTS TO STAY AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD,
CARS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PARK IN MARKED CYCLE LANES AT ANY TIME, if the road isn't wide enough for two carriageways and two bike lanes then there certainly isn't space for parking.

David Bowie agrees with me

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posted by bikeboy76 [1018 posts]
21st April 2013 - 13:18

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Argos74 wrote:
[rant=on]That particular junction is busy but relatively safe if approached with confidence and caution. The southbound shared used cyclepath/pavement just north of the junction and southbound bus stop by Sainsburys south of the junction are complete nightmares though.

Keep going south down towards Withington, and it turns into a deathtrap on EPO, steroids and crack cocaine. Either a narrow single carriageway, or off the road onto a pseudo cyclepath / shared used pavement littered with bollards, trees and suicidal pedestrians. Thanks, I'll take my risks on the road.

Alternatively, head north into Rusholme's Curry Mile, and be prepared for some of the most rampantly psychotic and unpredictable road behaviour seen outside of rush hour Paris. People coming out of laybys without warning, random T-bones, and people doing U turns because God "told them to". That's the drivers. Pedestrians - any idea why I'm singing the M.A.S.H. theme tune when you walk off the pavement 5 yards from my front wheel? Use the pelican crossing and I will stop if there's a red light. Which, incidentally, will make me one of the 10% of cyclists who actually does stop at red lights on Wilmslow Road. The other 90%, well it's just that much more fun catching and dropping them when the light turns green.

Did I mention that Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road is the mostly heavily used bus route in Europe? Whoops! I did! Well, happy to rectify that, and special hello to Stagecoach and Finglands bus drivers and I really hope you don't have pets or matches at home. In summary, improving the Wilmslow Road/Wilbraham Road junction is like treating a fresh decapitation with a sticking plaster. You're not thinking big enough. Cyclists are better off using the Upper Brook St-Kingsway (A34), Stockport Road (A6) or Princess Parkway (A5103), and forgetting Wilmslow Road ever existed.[/rant]

Laughing

Clearly we have a similar commute! I cut out a big chunk of Wilsmlow Road by joining Yew Tree Road at Withington, then past Man City's academy at Platt Fields, turning up Heald Place to bypass the living nightmare of the Curry Mile (perfect storm of inadequate infrastructure, loads of delivery vehicles, masses of buses, student cyclists - sorry guys, but there it is - suicidal pedestrians and young males cruising in status cars).

Fair play on the RLJs - there are plenty of them - but to be honest I've never had a problem with bus drivers. Pedestrians (whether using the cycle paths as pavements or thoughtlessly striding into the road), car/van drivers with a pathological aversion to using indicators, and other cyclists (jumping lights, hopping pavements or knocking down blind people) are my main bugbears.

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posted by Ghedebrav [796 posts]
21st April 2013 - 15:34

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Rusholme makes Death Race 2000 look like Copenhagen.

I know its just outside Manchester, just over the border in Cheshire but the junction where the A34 crosses the M60 has just had zillions of pounds spent on it but is still a no go for cyclists. I, and others, sensibly take a mile diversion through Gatley or Cheadle to avoid it. Not worth the risk. Saying that the three times ive been knocked off have been in Cheadle and Northenden! You cant blinking win!

Trouble with South Manchester is that Wilmslow Road is probably the lesser of the 4 evils getting into town. Forget Princess Parkway. Upper Brook Street not much better. Upper Lloyd Street is slightly better than Wilmslow Road but inconvenient if you live east of it.
Im with Ghedebrav and tell my wife, who commutes by bike, to go the way he suggests and avoid Rusholme all together.
Sadly the needs of very powerful lobby in Rusholme has meant that cars still take priority there and shocking parking, driving and infrastructure is rarely tackled.
I welcome the improvements in Fallowfield but it is definitely not high on my list of stuff that needs to be tackled first.

posted by Some Fella [598 posts]
21st April 2013 - 19:37

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I would be happy if they sorted the pot holes first, my comute from Stockport to Trafford park is ruining my wheels....

posted by merckxman [33 posts]
21st April 2013 - 20:45

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Firstly, in case anyone's missed it, I'll just post this link to http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/what-qualifies-as-dutch-des... (again)
where Mark Wagenbuur's been good enough to share some thoughts on the little we know about the plans for the junction in question (ie so far it sounds like it might miss some valuable advantages Dutch junctions have).

Nice to see so many good comments from so many people familiar with the area on here.

The curry mile is a nightmare, and I'd particularly agree with Ghedebrav about the junction outside the Edinburgh Bike Shop. Not fun, and the Whitworth Park bike path does abandon southbound cyclists unceremoniously at this point.

posted by pmanc [86 posts]
21st April 2013 - 22:16

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Looks like those of us coming from Bury/Bolton into North Manchester have been neglected again. Roads there are just as dangerous, trust me.

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posted by YorkshireMike [53 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 8:12

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notfastenough wrote:
Parrswood junction is also a bit daunting, especially going from cheadle village towards Heaton Mersey. If you're fast and confident it's doable, but hardly encouraging to new riders.

That junction is bad enough in a car, let alone on a bike. No-one using it really knows what lane they're supposed to be in.

I've never had a problem with the Wilmslow Road junction, but it amazes me how many students RLJ it through moving traffic. They're even more suicidal when they're on foot!

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posted by spatuluk [27 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 10:25

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I dont know if its me getting old and im no angel when it comes to 'pre empting' the odd green light but the amount of students and 'young people' riding down Wilmslow Road after dark with no lights is, quite frankly, shocking. For such a dangerous road im amazed that more people arent killed after dark.
These morons do nothing for the image of cyclists.

posted by Some Fella [598 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 10:41

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rubbish junctions I can deal with...its the moon craters that are an issue. I do a trafford/stockport (well cheadle heath) commut and the road surfaces are terrible (i now carry a step ladders incase I go into on of the larger potholes!!)

posted by mrchrispy [261 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 11:28

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£200,000 that doesn't exist to be not spent on improvements that wont happen.

You want to make Rusholme safer? Send traffic wardens and police there to actually do a job, if the people that abuse the space around there didn't think that they were able to drive like complete cock ends with complete impunity then perhaps pedestrians and cyclists might stand half a chance.

How can Manchester expect anything productive to happen for anyone when that child beating bellwhiff Pat Karney remains in charge?

The saying "Don't shit in my lunch box and then try and tell me it's a Lion bar" springs to mind.

posted by farrell [947 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 11:51

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spatuluk wrote:
notfastenough wrote:
Parrswood junction is also a bit daunting, especially going from cheadle village towards Heaton Mersey. If you're fast and confident it's doable, but hardly encouraging to new riders.

That junction is bad enough in a car, let alone on a bike. No-one using it really knows what lane they're supposed to be in.

Tell me about it - the ONLY bit that works is that the timing of the lights is such that if you arrive at the first lights on red (virgin gym etc on your right), you can take primary in the right hand lane and hold your position through all 3 red sets, but if you're not quick, drivers zoom past and cut in anyway. Even being quick I've been angrily overtaken between each set of lights (50 metres max!) by a cock in a big Range Rover penis extension who couldn't understand how he kept ending up behind me. Even when it works it's nerve-wracking, and that's bypassing the uncertainty of the lane-switchers in the other lanes.

As for the A34/M60 bit, I've seen the occasional cyclist on there and just think they're suicidal. I do go via Cheadle instead, but it can be hairy.

farrell wrote:

The saying "Don't shit in my lunch box and then try and tell me it's a Lion bar" springs to mind.

Best line ever.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2535 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 12:35

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Ghedebrav wrote:
I don't think the Wilmslow/Wilbraham/Moseley junction is *that* bad. Much more treacherous is closer into town on Wilmslow Road at the top of the curry mile near the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op - especially heading south, as a hitherto well-marked cycle path simply stops, with no obvious route to follow out onto the road.Fine for regular commuters, but not great for the inexperienced folks who we really want to be getting onto bikes.

I think you're supposed to detour onto the shared use facility through the park. I do, having had an exchange of views with a bus driver in which he made it pretty clear that he felt cyclists on the paralell road at this point didn't deserve much consideration.

Shame, as the road is the more direct route by far, and far less peopled by oblivious pedestrians.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

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posted by John_the_Monkey [413 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 12:57

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farrell wrote:
£200,000 that doesn't exist to be not spent on improvements that wont happen.

You want to make Rusholme safer?
Send traffic wardens and police there to actually do a job, if the people that abuse the space around there didn't think that they were able to drive like complete cock ends with complete impunity then perhaps pedestrians and cyclists might stand half a chance.

How can Manchester expect anything productive to happen for anyone when that child beating bellwhiff Pat Karney remains in charge?


+1 Farrell, enforcement is required:
there is specially constructed, raised cycle lane opp. Owens Park but every time I go through (albeit not daily) there is a half-wit parked inside an unbroken white line and on the dbl yellows, meaning you have to stop and wait to rejoin the road.
I find with Rusholme, I just go same speed as (the usually crawling along) traffic in primary cos the arsehole count is so high.
(Fave incident - narrowly avoid a dooring and exclaim to doorer
'Fkin 'ell'(not a personally addressed insult, you'll note)
His response, 'Don't swear at me.' No apology offered.

You may need to rectify your mistake though, it was another Cllr, Richard Leese not PK that you have referred to.

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posted by Joselito [114 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 13:19

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Ah yes, my mistake it was Dick Leese.

With the sheer amount of utter nonsense that is committed by Pat Karney in his rush to turn Manchester into a circus sideshow it's far to easy to blame him for everything.

posted by farrell [947 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 13:34

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If previous attempts to 'improve' the lives of cyclists in Fallowfield are anything to go by they may as well just gives us all a share of the £200 000 each to buy some Rapha socks with.
South bound you have a 'bike lane' that comes off near Owens Park with a tree (and usually many gormless students) in the middle of it and then near Revolution if the pathetic hundred yard path isnt blocked by someone parked up at Subway or by one of the doormen at Revolution you have a path that has bollards using up a third of the space dedicated to cycles (supposedly)
Northbound you have a path that is routinely used as layby.
Needless to say i dont bother leaving the road - inevitably getting some driver shouting 'Use the bike path' at me.

posted by Some Fella [598 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 15:56

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Any one use Barlow Moor Road (Southern Cemetery section) on a daily basis?
I only use occasionally but have found it too narrow to be safe and obstructed by grids. The third lane on the pavement, I've found to be obstructed by parked cars.
What's the road like at peak hours?

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posted by Joselito [114 posts]
23rd April 2013 - 11:05

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Joselito wrote:

(Fave incident - narrowly avoid a dooring and exclaim to doorer
'Fkin 'ell'(not a personally addressed insult, you'll note)
His response, 'Don't swear at me.' No apology offered.

Oddly enough, I had someone narrowly miss me in Rusholme (saw a parking space, didn't see me).

I shouted a loud "WHOAH" and the passenger got out to tell me off for "frightening" the driver! It was so ridiculous that I thought he was joking, and laughed, but no, he was serious and expected me to apologise.

With that said, in general, the traffic is slow enough along there for it not to be too worrying, for the most part.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

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posted by John_the_Monkey [413 posts]
23rd April 2013 - 11:19

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John_the_Monkey wrote:
Joselito wrote:

(Fave incident - narrowly avoid a dooring and exclaim to doorer
'Fkin 'ell'(not a personally addressed insult, you'll note)
His response, 'Don't swear at me.' No apology offered.

Oddly enough, I had someone narrowly miss me in Rusholme (saw a parking space, didn't see me).

I shouted a loud "WHOAH" and the passenger got out to tell me off for "frightening" the driver! It was so ridiculous that I thought he was joking, and laughed, but no, he was serious and expected me to apologise.

With that said, in general, the traffic is slow enough along there for it not to be too worrying, for the most part.

I have had something similar, it's weird isn't it? Such a leftfield response that you're left speechless which they interpret as you admitting that you're in the wrong.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2535 posts]
23rd April 2013 - 12:00

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Some photographic evidence:
Pic1, cycle lane dives off the road, forcing you to slow down and swerve off the road, onto the pavement between trees and barriers.
Pic2, cycle lane is now raise off the road but the margin zigzags in and out, the lane only merges back with the road right into a bus stop; they've got you boxed in.
Pic3, lane then goes off road again, right beside some bars and chip shops and bookies, squeezed between bollards and caged trees.

All of this bollocks is how non cyclists think we should be spending money instead of one simple bike lane at the side of the carriageway. And that is just the existing junction going one way.
PLEASE spend this new money more wisely.

001.JPG 002.JPG 004.JPG

David Bowie agrees with me

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posted by bikeboy76 [1018 posts]
23rd April 2013 - 22:50

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bikeboy76 wrote:

All of this bollocks is how non cyclists think we should be spending money instead of one simple bike lane at the side of the carriageway. And that is just the existing junction going one way.
PLEASE spend this new money more wisely.

TBH, I've seen worse. It'll be a problematic facility if cycling increases substantially (there's room for the number we have now, imo, just).

It's not terrible, as long as the latter one isn't blocked at the exit by some inconsiderate driver parked illegally (which happens with the on carriageway mandatory lane further down too). Often, you can't see the latter before crossing the junction, and it's hard to position yourself properly in the traffic flow once you have seen them.

The camber by that tree near the entry worries me in the wet too. It needs to be wider, and it needs to be enforced, but compared to the pointless "Bonus Parking Lanes" that line Parrs Wood Road, or the doorzone stuff in Rusholme, it's not the worst Manchester has to offer.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

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posted by John_the_Monkey [413 posts]
25th April 2013 - 9:48

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