Friday, 24 September 2010


Part of my normal morning route is in semi lockdown today due to the imminent arrival of some members of  the Pathological Liars Society. Peter St and a few surrounding side streets are all closed to motorists meaning me, a few other cyclists and plenty of pedestrians got a very rare chance to experience a main city centre road without the bull in the china shop.

There’s a lot of barriers and checkpoints been setup on the various side streets, but nothing is manned or in operation yet. A few vehicles were getting access, but otherwise the roads are empty.

Interesting how the instant the road is clear, pedestrians begin walking around a 4 lane road without a care, cyclists lean back and relax & I stop in the middle of the road to take pictures. There isn’t even any thinking time, nature just takes over and suddenly that busy horrible city centre road has become a pleasant environment and you can see that  the 20 odd metre wide space is actually enormous and we are all getting seriously short changed.

The closure has had a knock on effect on Deansgate, meaning that was a bit less busy as well. I don't see why these roads at the very centre of the city need to be anything more than access only - like the auto bollard controlled areas at the bottom of Market St & M&S. Pipe dreams I know, but it would transform Manchester, just as it has transformed the area around M&S.

I love how these photos bring up other things that you never noticed at the time. People's adversity to rain shows no bounds. It wasn't raining whatsoever, but this gent was happily strolling to work with his brolly up. Even more odd when you consider how windy it is this morning.

In other news: They are filming the new Captain America film on and around Dale St in the Northern Quarter. I took a couple of snaps myself at dinner, but you are best just looking at captainamericafilmingmanchester  to see what's going on.

It seems all these motorists failed to read the various signs posted around the city in recent weeks warning of delays during the conference, so they drove anyway. Note all the lights are on green, but nobody is moving an inch. Doesn't stop everyone from parping their horns at eachother - because that always solves the congestion, doesn't it.

Compare this shot with the ones above, neither are a problem for me on the bike, infact if cars have to be on the road I'd prefer them in this state but which one looks most pleasant?


  1. Quite a difference Jim.

    Have a look at these two old photos on the 'Hyde, Chechire' blog.

    The first has people spilling into the empty road, whilst the second taken of the same junction shows a contrast.

    And then there's this one that shows a guy sweeping the street, his wheel barrow left in the middle of the road. Unthinkable now. How far have we come LOL!

  2. Great photos.

    I missed a photo the otherday that would have been the modern equivalent of the guy sweeping. This was on Hyde road and a shopkeeper was sweeping a giant pile of broken glass off the pavement and into the road!. Who needs a dustpan these days when you've got the gutter.

  3. Who needs a dustpan these days when you've got the gutter.
    ...or cycle lane lol.

  4. As you say, amazing how much space is devoted to cars - you never realise until they are missing.