As plans for the new cycle routes in Greater Manchester have been slammed by campaigners we take a look at what makes a cycle route safe.
In Manchester there are plans to create four cycle paths around Wilmslow Road, Manchester Airport, Cheetham Hill and Prestwich totalling around 37 miles of cycle routes. However the plans have come under heavy criticism with an area of the Prestwich route being highlighted as dangerous and the Cheetham Hill plans arguably not a cycle route but rather just some road markings.
The Transport for Greater Manchester committee member and cycling campaigner Chris Paul said, “We have a long way to go in Manchester and throughout the UK to make a real change in space for cycling.” This is reflected by the absence of any UK cities in the top 20 bicycle friendly cities according to the latest Copenhagenize Index.
The Copenhagenize Index looks at 13 categories in marking the efforts cities make to establish the bicycle as an accepted and practical form of transport. The categories include bicycle culture, facilities, infrastructure, urban planning and perception of safety.
To decrease the number of Cycling Accident Claims Manchester should look to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Utrecht.
To improve the amount of people cycling, the UK should look at cities like Seville where the numbers of people regularly cycling has risen dramatically due to modern bicycle planning. In just one year they completed 80 km of bicycle infrastructure!
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyer Deborah Johnson said, "Too many people are injured or killed in cycling accidents both in Greater Manchester and across the country. It is encouraging to see that there are plans to create designated cycle routes in parts of Manchester but it is crucial that the authorities involved take note of what the campaigners are saying. Manchester doesn’t just need cycle routes, it needs safe cycle routes. There is no reason why Manchester's cyclists should not have the same protection as those in other European cities."
Cyclist Joseph Berry who was left with permanent scarring after being thrown from his saddle by a pothole in Openshaw, Manchester said, “It’s all well and good spending money on these new cycle routes but people need to be able to use their bikes on the streets where they live and at the moment that isn’t the case.”
Deborah Johnson is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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