Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bury Old Road, Prestwich

This 'cycle lane' along Bury Old Rd alongside Heaton Park is a time allocated cycle lane (best name I could think of, what the hell would you call this?). I've never seen one of these before, but have noticed another one since.

So it's works like most buslanes do, i.e. only during rush hour.

Except its just a solid line mandatory cycle lane.

Except its not because its only during certain hours

But the presence of the white line may keep drivers over to one side even out of hours, much as buslanes are not used much even when it's permitted.

On the other hand, the proper position to be cycling would be at least as far out as the white line anyway.

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But solid lines like this encourage drivers to just breeze past rather than overtake with a safe distance as they might if the line didn't exist. There are also a number of pinch points which inevitably cause conflict and endanger cyclists - see the google streetview above.

So any advantages seem to come with equal, if not more disadvantages. So has it really been of any benefit?. No not really. In fact it's crap. It's a sub standard, paltry attempt to meet a government target with the minimum amount of effort.

A segregated two-way cycle path would solve all these issues and create a decent useable facility. There is plenty of room to do this even on a road like this. The evidence is already in place a little further down the road where the two car lanes have been shrunk and shifted over to create a buslane. That exact same area of 'buslane' should be a segregated two-way continuous cycle path.  

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  1. Jim,

    I've just had an email from the council regarding a cycle lane in your neck of the woods under threat.

    I'm not its biggest fan, but instead of making it better, the council want to remove it to provide on road parking.

    Email me if you want from my Blogger profile page.

  2. I cycle this road/lane at least 3 times a week. It is crap particularly at the pinch points created by the pedestrian islands. I usually take the primary position to stop the car drivers overtaking dangerously but that has its own dangers as well.

    The really annoying thing is some drivers seem to think cyclists must use the lanes and that we are in the wrong if causing a motorised vehicle to slow for a few seconds.

  3. Creating pinch points seems to have become really trendy with highway engineers in recent years. I can understand the idea of making it safer for pedestrains to cross the road, but all it really does is transfer the danger to a different road user - the cyclist.