Videos: TfGM releases flythroughs of Manchester bus priority plans, including cycling infrastructure

CGI films show proposed cycle lanes that will form part of planned rethink of city's road network

by Simon_MacMichael   May 28, 2013  

TfGM Oxford Road 1

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has unveiled flythrough videos of its bus priority proposals for Manchester city centre and Oxford Road, which also highlight how its planned changes would result in new cycling infrastructure for the city.

Those include segregated cycle lanes, including ones that go around the back of bus stops, and roads open only to buses, bicycles and Hackney Carriage taxis and the emergency services, while a 20mph speed limit would also be put in place.

CGI mock-ups can’t replicate real-life conditions, of course, with traffic likely to be heavier at peak times, travelling more quickly than the videos suggest, and pedestrians nipping across the road among factors that would be encountered in a live situation, not to mention the rain.

The plans are now open for public consultation, and you can find out more details here.

TfGM committee chair Andrew Fender commented: “These videos really bring this transport scheme to life. You can see just what it might be like to travel along Oxford Road and right through the city centre by bus or bike – on safer, traffic free roads.

“Our plans will allow bus operators to run more reliable, punctual “cross-city” services that can travel right through the heart of Manchester. It would mean shorter bus journey times and people wouldn’t have to walk from one side of the city to the other to change buses.

“There’s also real improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. I encourage everyone to take a look at our plans and see what it means for your journey. We want to hear from people before the consultation ends on 26 June. Make sure you have your say.”

TfGM has also recently bid for £20 million of Cycle City Ambition funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to help it realise its Velocity 2025 vision.

A report in the Manchester Gazette last week - apparently based on comments from local Liberal Democrat MPs - claimed that its bid, submitted at the end of April, had succeeded in securing £15 million.

However, the DfT has confirmed to that no decision on the bids has yet been taken, and that details of the successful bidders will most likely be revealed in the summer.

11 user comments

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On the surface it seems all very positive but it still labours under the rather twisted logic that cyclists and buses make good bed/ lane fellows.
Also seems to be no priority left turning for cyclists.
I suppose i should feed this back to the consultation instead of whinging about it on here though eh...................?

posted by Some Fella [901 posts]
28th May 2013 - 14:50


It still looks like halfway measures, especially this behind the bus stop thing.

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
28th May 2013 - 16:32


anyone able to tell if the bikes/buses/pedestrians are to scale? Presentations like this are notorious for using undersized models, making lanes etc seem much more spacious

posted by Al__S [855 posts]
28th May 2013 - 16:41


I've never before heard of the Manchester Gazette.

posted by farrell [1876 posts]
28th May 2013 - 16:49


It is a thinly disguised Lib Dem rag (or whatever the internet version of a rag is)

posted by Some Fella [901 posts]
28th May 2013 - 18:22


Online news outlet founded last year, apparently. Seems the council's definitely heard of it:

Not to be confused with the Manchester Gazette that published from 1795 to 1828, although at a guess that's where the name came from.

We mentioned that specific story because although it is wrong, it is out there and could be taken as fact by some people - there's a north west property website that's also incorrectly reporting the £15m has been secured.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9308 posts]
28th May 2013 - 18:26


I think this looks pretty decent - certainly better than any existing cycle infrastructure I have seen in this country.

What I don't understand is why taxi's are allowed to use bus lanes. Taxi's are used for private journeys and the 2.5 litre diesel lump that powers them spits out emissions. I'm loathe to generalise but my perception is that, in London anyway, black cab drivers are the least respectful road users towards cyclists and play fast and loose with the rules of the road.

IMHO allowing taxi's to use bus lanes sends out the wrong message - it probably helps reduce congestion but certainly does nothing for emissions or safety of cyclists. I actually think that due to the relatively small numbers of buses that they do mix quite well with cyclists - I often find myself in a free bus lane for half a mile or so and due to their lower speed and fairly decent driving they are far less of a danger than a black cab.

Of course the above is based on my perceptions riding in London everyday - I'm sure many of you have had different experiences.


posted by jasecd [245 posts]
28th May 2013 - 18:50


Some Fella wrote:
I suppose i should feed this back to the consultation instead of whinging about it on here though eh...................?

Yep. Consultation ends 26th June. Am going to have to wander around with a map, clipboard, pen, paper and a camera to detail exactly what is wrong with these proposals.

Essentially, the plan appears to be taking cars, commercial traffic and private hire taxis out of the central Manchester area, or at least off these main arteries. While this may seem appealing, the Oxford Road area detailed in the videos is essentially safe as is if approached with confidence, awareness and some rocket propelled grenades for vehicles parking in the cycle lane. Some resurfacing work around the University wouldn't go amiss, but for cyclists, that's all that's really needed.

Better than their last missive, which if memory serves, I described as an ad agency's wet sock. But the proposals ignore the herd of elephants in a small room - Wilmslow Road from Rusholme through to Withington, where a combination of murderous road layouts, road surfaces and driver and cyclist idiocy render the route suicidal and unusable. I end up using the quick and dull Princess Road, or sedate and pleasant Higher Cambridge Street to Yew Tree Road.

posted by Argos74 [338 posts]
28th May 2013 - 19:17


Well I won't be going behind any bus stops on what is basically part of the pavement (right outside the student union!) but I will be glad if they actually repave the lot and I can go straight down the bus lane. Or do they think they can achieve this utopia with paint alone?

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

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posted by bikeboy76 [1705 posts]
28th May 2013 - 20:19


Nice idea...but targeting the wrong parts of Manchester. Oxford Rd is fine for cycling...there are so many more dangerous areas.

posted by andyp [1368 posts]
29th May 2013 - 9:34


Still no contraflow for bikes between Portland Street and Whitworth Street West? Sad

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posted by spatuluk [27 posts]
29th May 2013 - 10:02