‘Absurd’: Manchester’s new cycle lanes criticised by locals

New active travel infrastructure through the city’s Northern Quarter district has baffled some, but the council claims ‘common sense’ is all that’s required.

Manchester City Council has defended the latest additions to its rapidly expanding cycle lane network after residents took to social media platforms labelling the improvements as ‘absurd’.

New road markings and bollards have been installed on Thomas Street and John Street, in the heart of the Northern Quarter, part of efforts by local authorities to get more people out of cars, cutting congestion, emissions and air pollution in the process. However, videos and images being shared online have identified a number of early problems, with people sitting on bollards blocking the routes, cars attempting to drive down sections of roads despite now being banned, and broken glass strewn across lanes. 

Despite this, Town Hall representatives have said they are pleased with how the new cycle schemes are being implemented, making it clear people should ‘use their common sense’ in order for pedestrians, cyclists and cars to coexist in the area. Nevertheless, temporary signage has now been installed around the route to make sure cars and vans do not attempt to drive where they are no longer permitted.

‘It is clearly signposted that this road is no entry and drivers who enter it are committing a traffic offence. It would be unfair to lay the blame of poor driving towards the Council. However, temporary signage has been installed this week to help this bedding in process,’ said a Manchester City Council spokesperson. 

Greater Manchester’s proposed Clean Air Zone, which would see high polluting vehicles targeted for fines, stalled earlier this year, and remains on hold. Read our in-depth feature involving those in opposition to the scheme, and those who back it.

Image credit: Jonny Gios



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