Cycling Embassy of Great Britain response to consultation on Rusholme section of the Wilmslow Road Cycleway in Manchester

We've responded to the consultation on the Rusholme section of the Wilmslow Road Cycleway in Manchester (which closes today). Our comments are below. 

General comments

We support the overall general design approach, with cycle tracks separated from the road, running between parking bays and the footway, and including bypasses of bus stops, pedestrian crossings, and major junctions (e.g. Great Western Street). We also support the informal crossing points for pedestrians. Any suggestions made here are made with the intention of improving this scheme.

We would like to see details on the widths of the tracks. These should have a minimum of 2m effective width for safe overtaking within the track.

A major area of concern is the junction treatments, particularly at side roads, which represent a collision risk. They could be easily improved by continuing the cycle tracks through the junctions at a raised level, rather than returning them to the carriageway as a cycle lane. This could be incorporated into a continuous footway treatment, with benefits for pedestrians.

Continuous cyclewaya treatment

Motorists would have to drive up and over this treatment. Where space allows, the cycle track should also be set back from the main road, allowing vehicles entering the main road to queue without blocking the track, and also allowing drivers entering side roads to deal with the cycle track as a separate crossing.

In addition, hazardous turning movements by motorists across the cycle track could be lessened or even eliminated by 'filtering' techniques, closing side roads to motor traffic where possible (as at Whitecliff Close), or restricting movements to one-way as part of area-wide motor traffic reduction schemes. These would bring safety benefits not just for the cycle tracks (and for pedestrians) along the main road, but also for the side roads. We would like to see these kinds of measures considered at all of the side roads, in combination with better crossing designs for walking and cycling.

The signalised junctions are also a matter of concern. Advanced Stop Lines do not provide the level of comfort and safety for cycling supplied by the rest of the proposed scheme. We would like to see an attempt at separation of cycling in time/space from motor traffic at these junctions, similar to the approaches now being employed in London by TfL, although we appreciate that this will require a degree of experimentation, as signal separation of cycling is relatively rare in Britain.

Section 1 - Moss Lane East to Great Western Street

The junction treatment at Banff Road needs to be improved, potentially with continuous cycle track/footway treatment, as per the general comments, above.

See also our general comments for the treatments at the signalised junctions - the junction with Moss Lane East in particular could allow a protected left turn, and signal separation of turning movements (perhaps by a 'simultaneous green' arrangement for cycling).

Section 2 - Great Western Street to Walmer Street

The side road treatments need to be improved - Dagenham Road, Denison Road, Walmer Street, and Walmer Street East. Continuity and a clearer sense of priority should be provided, as per the suggestions in our general comments.

We would also like to see easier access from the cycle track to the main road, allowing crossing from the track to side roads on the opposite side.

Section 3 - Walmer Street to Park Crescent

Again, see our comments about improving the side road treatments, for the purposes of both safety and comfort. The cycle tracks should be continuous, and not revert to cycle lanes, at all of the side roads in this section. That means maintaining a raised level, bending out from the carriageway rather than in towards it, and in combination with continuous footway treatments.

We would also like to see (as per Section 2) easy access to the main road from the cycle track, at places where people cycling will need to cross into side roads on the opposite side of the carriageway.

Section 4 - Park Crescent

As with our comments on previous sections, the side road treatments can and should be improved, with cycle tracks and footways continuing at a raised level through these junctions, set back from the main road, where possible.

Likewise we repeat our comments about easy access to crossing movements into side roads - similar to the design opposite at Park Crescent (although a central median may not be necessary).