Cycle lanes crossing over footways; nonsensical indirect bike paths which encourage shortcuts along pavements; and convoluted junctions which demand that cyclists mount and dismount the pavement multiple times – these are just a few of the things highlighted by YouTube user ‘lastwheel’ in a video analysing the cycling provisions planned for Manchester’s Oxford Road.
Opening with the words “our city is taking you for a ride…” lastwheel delivers an alternative soundtrack to the recent Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) video about plans to transform Oxford Road, highlighting a number of flaws and missed opportunities with regards to cycling infrastructure.
Cycle lanes cross over footways and take bizarre, indirect routes which few are likely to follow – even if they comprehend them. Where there are cycling provisions at junctions, they are often convoluted, demanding that cyclists mount and dismount the pavement multiple times.
A lack of protection from passing or turning buses is also apparent with segregation often achieved via the much-criticised plastic ‘armadillos’ – it is often suggested that these pieces of infrastructure owe their current popularity to their cost rather than their effectiveness.
Although the original video was entitled ‘Manchester Oxford Road – Bus Priority’ a lot of the commentary focuses on cycling infrastructure and TfGM have frequently referred to ‘Dutch-style’ cycle lanes when discussing the plans.
Chair of the TfGM Committee Councillor Andrew Fender, said:
“As well as speeding up bus journey times and improving cycling, pedestrians using Oxford Road will benefit from wider footpaths and safer crossing points along the route.
“The plans have been shaped by input from local businesses, organisations and residents and balance the needs of all road users. Ultimately, the bus priority package will create a better environment and future for everyone who works in, lives in or visits our city.”