The first of 13 Dutch-style cycle lanes taking cyclists behind bus stops has opened on Manchester’s Oxford Road opposite Whitworth Park. The bypass lanes will form part of the Wilmslow Road Cycleway which will see infrastructure improved all the way down to Didsbury Village.
The new-style bike lane is designed to make it safer for cyclists on what is Europe’s busiest bus route. Rather than overtaking when buses pull over, the rider instead cycles behind the bus stop. The Manchester version of these bypass lanes also includes a zebra-style crossing for pedestrians – arguably a clearer layout than that used on equivalent lanes in London.
Cycling through a bus stop bypass in Manchester. Much better than the ones on CS2 upgrade pic.twitter.com/eMCke79uf7
— maidstoneonbike (@maidstoneonbike) September 19, 2015
From Monday, a two-week survey will be carried out by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) with cyclists, bus passengers and pedestrians asked to give feedback. Comments will be used to review and improve the design before it is rolled out at other stops.
Student Flora Winstanley, who commutes to the University of Manchester from Fallowfield by bike every day, told the Manchester Evening News: “It’s so much better – I bike to uni every day and this bit of Oxford Road is a nightmare. It makes so much sense, if you’re coming along this part of Oxford Road you’re constantly looking out for the buses.”
The plan is that by the end of 2016 every bus stop but one on Oxford Road from Moss Lane East to Portland Street will have the new lane and rather than cutting into pavements, roads will be made narrower. The one exception is the stop near the Temple of Convenience pub where a bypass lane will not be possible.
The scheme, which will include over 4km of segregated cycle lanes, will also see traffic restrictions imposed. Between 6am and 9pm, general traffic will turn off Oxford Road at Hathersage Road with only buses, taxis, cyclists and emergency vehicles permitted beyond.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said:
“This is an exciting scheme that will revolutionise sustainable travel along one of the busiest routes into Manchester city centre, with better access to the universities, healthcare and businesses along the route.
“It’s part of a major investment in our infrastructure that will help us make travel greener and more sustainable while also providing huge benefits for the city’s economy.”
Councillor Chris Paul, Cycling Champion on the TfGM Committee, said he hoped that the introduction of safer, segregated cycling facilities would encourage more people to cycle along Oxford Road.