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Manchester City fans slammed for “constantly blocking” cycle lane outside Etihad Stadium, as council says it “shares cyclists’ frustration” with illegal parking

“It’s shocking that on a route some of Team GB use to ride home they can put lives in danger like this,” one local cyclist said

Manchester City Council has reminded motorists and coach drivers attending Manchester City football matches that illegal parking “is not acceptable in any set of circumstances”, after a local cyclist shared videos and images of vehicles “constantly blocking” a protected cycle lane outside the Treble winners’ Etihad Stadium on matchdays.

The local authority pointed out that a wealth of transport options now exists for football fans travelling to the old City of Manchester Stadium, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and situated next to the National Cycling Centre and Manchester Velodrome, the home of British Cycling.

The council also told road.cc that it “shares the frustration of cyclists” who have their route blocked by inconsiderate parking, which one cyclist claimed was putting lives in danger during City home matches.

According to Manchester-based cyclist Martin, who also commutes in the area by van, on matchdays the cycle lane on Alan Turing Way – the A6010 main road that cuts through the area’s Sportcity facilities – is “constantly blocked by minibuses and coaches” used by travelling supporters.

> “Proper cyclists don’t need cycle lanes”: Locals blast “woke” bike lane works, as rugby club claims fans can’t get to matches during “chaos”

“They actually straddle the bike/car divide, and this then makes the cycle lane impossible to use and forces cyclists into the duel carriageway – right into the door zone of the waiting vehicles,” Martin tells road.cc.

“This whole stretch is blocked by at least 20 commercial vehicles at a time. I’ve told Manchester City Council about this multiple times, but they have taken no action.”

Vehicles blocking cycle lane outside Etihad Stadium on Manchester City matchdays (Martin Degnan)

During City’s rather lacklustre 0-0 draw with fellow league title challengers Arsenal on Sunday, Martin also claimed that “plenty of police cars, horses, and bikes were just ignoring” the bike lane-blocking buses along the road.

While Martin notes that the situation is currently at its worst when City, the dominant Premier League team of the past decade (ongoing Financial Fair Play investigation notwithstanding), are playing at home, he believes that the completion of Co-op Live, which is set to be the UK’s largest indoor area when it opens its doors in the Etihad Campus this month, could make things even more dangerous for local cyclists.

“It needs addressing before Co-op Live is open and hopefully before someone is hurt,” he says. “I find it shocking that on a route some of the Team GB riders use to ride home, they can put lives in danger like this.

“I don’t actually cycle commute through here, I’m in a large transit van. But even in my cage there have been moments where I thought I was in danger – I can only imagine how any cyclist must feel along this route. 

“You’d think they would get it better near a couple of national cycling venues.”

Vehicles blocking cycle lane outside Etihad Stadium on Manchester City matchdays (Martin Degnan)

Responding to Martin’s concerns, a spokesperson for Manchester City Council told road.cc: “Illegal parking is not acceptable in any set of circumstances and the Council shares the frustration of cyclists who are trying to travel, only to have their route blocked through inconsiderate parking.

“Officers work daily – not just on matchdays – to enforce against illegal parking, and the council would remind people that there is now a wealth of public transport options open to people travelling to and from the area, meaning there is no excuse to park illegally.”

> Spurs and Chelsea fans urged to cycle to ‘world’s first net zero carbon football match’

According to Manchester City’s website, there are no clear instructions for parking on matchdays, though the club do note that the stadium – which is “within easy walking distance” from the city centre – is “extremely accessible from all major highways”.

When it comes to cycling provision, City say there are “over 500” cycle parking spaces at the Etihad Campus, and that a Bee Network bike hire station is located outside the ground.

> Footballers who cycle XI — the Premier League stars who love life on two wheels

Perhaps the reigning English and European champions could ask former manager Roberto Mancini, famous for riding his road bike to training and for counting Marco Pantani among his sporting heroes, for advice on how to make the road outside their ground more accommodating for cyclists?

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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54 comments

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Safety | 3 months ago
0 likes

Another good example of where direct action via a just a minute type protest would be justified.

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BianchiBoy replied to Safety | 3 months ago
0 likes

Might be worth pointing out that Manchester is European capital of cycling

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brooksby replied to BianchiBoy | 3 months ago
2 likes

Yeah, but wasn't Hull the European capital of culture at one point?

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BianchiBoy replied to brooksby | 3 months ago
0 likes

Exactly, the award is a sham, it appears they can't even keep a cycle lane free from traffic

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don simon fbpe | 3 months ago
0 likes

Unfair to tarnish all the piss poor parkers as City fans, surely all the City fans could fit in the Beemer!

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IanGlasgow | 3 months ago
3 likes

Their current manager is also a cyclist.

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Kendalred replied to IanGlasgow | 3 months ago
0 likes

Did he gob on the floor immediately before or immediately after this photo?

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eburtthebike | 3 months ago
13 likes

“Illegal parking is not acceptable in any set of circumstances......."

But it clearly is, and the council is training drivers to park in the cycle lanes by not prosecuting them.  If they cared so much, or at all, they'd do something: they don't do something, ergo, they don't care.

It's just stereotypical behaviour of drivers, with their utter contempt for the safety of anyone else, especially cyclists.  They literally don't care if you get killed because they've parked in your dedicated space.

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john_smith replied to eburtthebike | 3 months ago
0 likes

That's a pretty impressive leap of logic in your last sentence.

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eburtthebike replied to john_smith | 3 months ago
10 likes

john_smith wrote:

That's a pretty impressive leap of logic in your last sentence.

Glad you think so.yes

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Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 3 months ago
10 likes

eburtthebike wrote:

They literally don't care if you get killed because they've parked in your dedicated space.

john_smith wrote:

That's a pretty impressive leap of logic in your last sentence.

I don't think there's any leap of logic there, that is simply the reality with many drivers. I've honestly lost count of the number of times I have said to people parking on zigzags, in cycle lanes, on double yellow lines on blind corners et cetera that their behaviour could be responsible for somebody being killed and received either a weary shrug, a verbal response along the lines of either how is it your business or, particularly if it is cyclists' lives that are being endangered, why should I give a fuck, or on occasion threats of physical violence. Burt is right, they genuinely couldn't care less about danger to others when it is a question of their own convenience.

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john_smith replied to Rendel Harris | 3 months ago
0 likes

That assumes they believe they are creating a real danger to others. They might be stupid, unthinking or selfish, but that's not the same as not caring if someone gets killed.

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marmotte27 replied to john_smith | 3 months ago
7 likes

What difference does it make fundamentally that these drivers base their attitude on a whole system that doesn't care about thousands of killed and tens of thousands of maimed and injured?
They're still very much part of the problem and they're still very much personally responsible if someone gets killed or injured on that stretch of road.

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john_smith replied to marmotte27 | 3 months ago
0 likes

I didn't say it made a difference. I simply do not accept that all motorists who park in the manner in question are psychopaths who would not care if someone got killed. That is all.

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marmotte27 replied to john_smith | 3 months ago
4 likes

What I'm trying to tell you is that you don't need to be a psychopath, and that this fact actually makes it worse.

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john_smith replied to marmotte27 | 3 months ago
0 likes

I don't know why you feel the need to tell me that. My comment above related merely to the claim "They literally don't care if you get killed".

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Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 3 months ago
6 likes

john_smith wrote:

I didn't say it made a difference. I simply do not accept that all motorists who park in the manner in question are psychopaths who would not care if someone got killed. That is all.

It doesn't really matter whether they care or not after someone gets killed, they won't be any less dead. What matters is that they don't care if their selfishness puts people at a higher risk of being killed, and this is demonstrably the case. See also speeding: 99.99% of drivers would be distraught if they killed someone by speeding in a 20 zone, but 85% speed in 20 zones.

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 3 months ago
5 likes

Yep. There's also "it won't happen" > "it won't happen to *me*" > "it might happen to me but it would be their fault (I can't feel bad about it)" > "it happened and the police aren't reassuring me 'it was an accident' and there's a serious chance I'll be in court".

You can simply observe that regret is absent for the early ones and becomes much more general for the last.

Intent is often central to the legal system, but behaviours and consequences more pertinent to eg. road safety. #sustainablesafety

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ktache replied to marmotte27 | 3 months ago
5 likes

There's always "deep regret" after...

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brooksby replied to ktache | 3 months ago
6 likes

"Deep regret" is up there alongside "thoughts and prayers" as regards expressing fake sympathy, I think.

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chrisonabike replied to ktache | 3 months ago
4 likes

The regret is all the deeper when you've paid expensive counsel to compose and read it for you...

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Born_peddling | 3 months ago
3 likes

Having lived a stone's throw from there I can confirm the state of parking/travel in general on match/event days I agree the addition of the coop arena will compound these issues further. In short the what the council say and do are completely separate they say they "share" the frustration caused probably only when they're leaving the match themselves 😆. As for traffic officers I've never seen one the nearest residential is private a large park with cemetery takes up a large swath of Alan turning way on the opposite side of the stadium followed by a McDonald's and asda (and they both hire they're own fun sponge enforcement).

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Pub bike | 3 months ago
5 likes

"Manchester City fans slammed"

People will do whatever they can get away with.  It would be better if the Manchester City Council is slammed for lack of enforcement.

In their defence most other local authorities aren't going win any prizes for enforcement of motorists parking in cycle lanes. But it isn't much of a defence.

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stonojnr replied to Pub bike | 3 months ago
6 likes

I know around other football stadiums in lower leagues, local councils are always very strong issuing parking tickets for fans dumping their cars where they aren't supposed to.

I don't understand why Manchester City Council arent ?

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Rendel Harris replied to stonojnr | 3 months ago
3 likes

Matchday tickets with prawn sandwiches and Prosecco don't grow on trees, you know…

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Argos74 | 3 months ago
5 likes

And at the end of my road:

The lazy drivers making a mockery of south Manchester's controversial 'green' cycle route

Well. That was a suprise. Segregated bike lane turns into car park 30 seconds after completion. I am shocked. And yesterday.

Locals in despair as 'two HUGE holes' appear in controversial new cycle lane

I am moved to the words of Mary Hinge's iconic and pivotal musical masterpiece, "Enter me Lord, and show me thy mercy". Except in more succinct and Mancunian terms.

And that's why I try to avoid bike infrastructure in Manchester. MCC tick a bunch of boxes with building it, but then refuse to do any enforcement, and it ends up being worse and more dangerous than it was before. But perhaps it's not surprising when our mayor, Andy "Speedy" Burnham parrots talking points from the Daily Mail. Man's all shorts and no pad.

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Pub bike | 3 months ago
9 likes

“Officers work daily – not just on matchdays – to enforce against illegal parking"

Seems to be a typo:

“Officers work daily – just not on matchdays – to enforce against illegal parking"

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Dbloke | 3 months ago
9 likes

Oh hey, round my end, yeah round here on matchday is a nightmare, all it takes is a few traffic wardens to do the rounds every match day and people will soon take the hint, its not like we dont have carparks, they just refuse to pay for them 

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mitsky | 3 months ago
14 likes

Who You gonna call?

The Tyre Extinguishers of course.

The annoyance and delay, in refilling all 4 tyres, to all the passengers will hopefully make them and the drivers think twice next time.
It would certainly hurt more than a miniscule fine.

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john_smith replied to mitsky | 3 months ago
0 likes

There's no excuse for messing around with people's cars. It's cowardly and irresponsible.

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