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Love Your Bike response to the “Local Sustainable Transport Fund Manchester Cycle Access to Regional Centre” consultation.

Love Your Bike recently responded to the “Local Sustainable Transport Fund Manchester Cycle Access to Regional Centre” consultation.  Our general comments are shown below and the response document (pdf) is available to download.

We welcome the opportunity to respond to this consultation. Our detailed comments on the specific proposals are listed below.

However, we would like to preface our specific comments with the statements below. Love Your Bike believes that Manchester City Council’s approach to designing and installing all future cycle infrastructure needs to be guided by the following considerations:

• “We cannot continue to deceive ourselves thinking that to paint a little line on a road is a bike way. A bicycle way that is not safe for an 8-year old [or 80 year-old] is not a bicycle way.” (Enrique Penalosa, previous Mayor of Bogota). [our addition]

• The 5 main quality criteria for Dutch cycle routes are that they need to be:
Coherent, Direct, Attractive, Safe and Comfortable.

• “For the same reason, it is not acceptable to leave gaps in cycle route provision.”1

Unfortunately, it is our opinion that much of the cycle infrastructure as outlined in these consultation documents fail to meet the policy criteria outlined above and in some cases are simply updating (repainting) previous poor, and in some cases, dangerous designs. As has been recognised by Lilli Matson, head of delivery planning at Transport for London (TfL) such “piecemeal accumulation of opportunistic and sporadic infrastructure is no
recipe for success….”.2

We would like to recommend that Manchester City Council take time to reconsider these proposals and focus on the design and installation of high-quality cycle infrastructure that meets the key criteria, namely: cycle infrastructure that is Coherent, Direct, Attractive, Safe and Comfortable. It may be useful to use some of the funding to facilitate a review of existing and future cycle infrastructure to identify what is unacceptable and desirable cycle

Love Your Bike,  23rd March 2014

1) Greater Manchester Cycling Design Guidance & Standards, Version 2.0

2) ‘City-wide cycle networks will reap benefits’, Transport Xtra.