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Please support the Oxford Road corridor cycle scheme (again!)

At the Manchester Cycle Forum on Tuesday 28th June, a number of changes to the cycle infrastructure designs on the Oxford Road corridor were outlined. Ironically, these changes appear to have come about as a result of concerns raised about a different scheme – the Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG) route from Rusholme to Didsbury.

Should not require bravery

Love Your Bike has consistently supported the case for high quality – protected space for cycling on the Oxford Road corridor and elsewhere. See ‘A little background’ section below.  We continue to support the Oxford Road scheme but believe that some of the proposed changes will make the cycling facilities less attractive, less comfortable and less safe.

We have until 12th July to send in comments on the proposed changes.  Love Your Bike have set up a simple email action below to help people to show their support for the Oxford Road scheme but ask for the proposed changes to be modified.

The proposed changes to the Oxford Road scheme are focused on the Nelson Street / Grafton Street area, the Sidney Street area and Oxford Street area (between Whitworth Street and Portland Street). See images below and a PDF is available.

Proposed redesigns - 550

The original designs that went out to consultation are available on the TfGM website.

A brief description of the the proposed changes was provided and states that:

  • “Segregation gaps – additional gaps are now proposed in the segregation to provide opportunities for cycles to enter/exit the segregation if they wish. The gaps will be between 2.5m and 3m long and at 15-20m intervals.
  • Loading area opposite Nelson Street – the cycle facility now exits into the loading area where it remains segregated from the main carriageway.
  • Grafton Street junction bypass – the northbound cycle way now re-joins the main carriageway before the junction and continues on into the planned segregation beyond the junction.
  • Sidney Street pedestrian crossing bypass – The northbound cycleway now rejoins the main carriageway just before the pedestrian crossing and continues into a section of segregation beyond the crossing.
  • Palace Hotel drop off bay – the southbound cycle lane now runs adjacent to traffic.
  • St James building and Palace Theatre segregation – the cycle lane now runs adjacent to traffic in an advisory painted cycle lane.”

A little background

Buses cycles hackney cabs - circa 2009 designIn 2009 the initial designs for the Oxford Road Bus Priority scheme included the standard ‘advisory green paint cycle lane’ which would mean any people cycling being sandwiched between moving and stationary buses.

The Love Your Bike response to the first consultation on the Oxford Road proposals back in December 2009, highlighted that “the current plans for the cycle lanes require buses to cross the cycle lanes every time the vehicle pulls into a bus stop. As the designs currently stand the potential conflicts are between “big bus” and “little bike”.

Wilsmlow Road bus sandwichIn 2013, after four years of campaigning, Transport for Greater Manchester and Manchester City Council agreed to the introduction of ‘Dutch-style’ segregated cycle lanes and in particular a design that would avoid the conflict between buses and people on bicycles at bus stops.

Love Your Bike and other cycle campaigns encouraged people to support the new proposals during the June 2013 consultation and following a successful consultation outcome continued to be involved in design discussions

In 2013, the Greater Manchester authorities signed up to a cycle strategy that ”aims to double the number of daily cyclists by 2015 – and then double it again by 2025. Greater Manchester’s vision is for up to 10% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2025.”

In “Getting moving: a cycling manifesto for Greater Manchester“, Love Your Bike highlights that to achieve the levels of cycling outlined in the GM Cycling Strategy, to make cycling attractive and accessible and to enable more people to choose to use a bicycle for short trips that all cycle routes must be: Safe, Coherent, Direct, Comfortable, Attractive and Future-proof.    These same design criteria are now reflected in the TfGM Cycle Design Guidance.

We need to make sure that the proposed plans for Oxford Road – already one of the busiest cycle routes – go as far as possible to meet these criteria.  The overall scheme is not yet ‘Dutch’ or Danish standard but are a huge improvement on what was there before – as this video on the Rusholme cycle route produced by Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign highlights.



Please email Manchester City Council and show your support for the scheme and ask for the best possible cycling provision on the Oxford Road corridor.

Please email the Council now.

(This email action is now closed. Many thanks to everyone who took part.)


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