As Manchester begins trialling a new ‘Dutch-style’ bus stop and cycle lane, cyclists in the city may soon be able to ride behind bus stops rather than having to risk overtaking buses that may be about to pull into their path.
The new bike lane on Oxford Road opposite Whitworth Park was inspired by similar schemes in the Netherlands. Overtaking buses can often be dangerous particularly when bus drivers, unable to see cyclists approaching the rear of their bus at speed, indicate right.
As well as colour-coded cycle routes, there are now also specially designed crossing points to make life easier and safer for pedestrians.
The new cycle-friendly bus stop is one of 13 to be built on Oxford Road and forms part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) plans to limit traffic along sections of the road and install more than 4km of segregated cycle lanes.
TfGM have requested that anyone using the new bus stop including cyclists, bus passengers and pedestrians, provide feedback on their effectiveness. Oxford Road is one of Europe’s busiest bus routes with more than 100 buses using the route every hour. It is also renowned amongst Manchester’s cyclists as something of a “dog’s dinner” with endless complaints of “un-indicated cutting in, tailgating by monstrous vehicles, and pointless driver impatience.”
The ‘bus priority corridor’ plan will see a ban on general traffic except buses, taxis and cycles, between 6am and 9pm in an effort to speed up bus journey times, provide better access to the universities, healthcare and businesses along the route, and create a safer environment for cyclists.
The scheme will form part of the Wilmslow Road Cycleway which when finished, will run from Didsbury village into Manchester city centre via Rusholme.
Councillor Chris Paul, ‘Cycling Champion’ on the TfGM Committee said, “This is such an exciting time for cycling in Greater Manchester. We’ve been learning lessons from our European neighbours on how we can encourage more people to get on their bikes.”
TfGM are aiming for 10% of all journeys in Manchester to be made by bike by 2025.
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