The idea of having a pop-up cycle lane with cones looked more like a panic measure rather than something properly thought out.
We first saw cones down Edge Lane in Stretford on a cycle path which for us was a bit crazy it was like having a cycle path on a cycle path, it narrowed the road which caused traffic congestion far greater than it would be normally.
The pop-up lanes than were seen growing faster towards the Sale area, on many occasions we noted and even shown video footage of incidents where cyclists were put in danger, other people also witnessed this more so at McDonald’s in Stretford and just before the lights at the M60 Bridge southbound.
Once you got passed the M60 going over Crossford Bridge it did feel safer going southbound, all the way to Dane Road, this was because of the width of the road, no congestion was seen at that point.
From Dane Road onwards things got crazy, more so when the pop-up lanes went down Washway Road, this is simply because the road is too narrow, congestion was probably the worst we had ever seen it and pollution levels became very high at that time.
All cones were gone as fast as they went down, and now the end of the cones was at Marks and Spencers in Sale, it was then reduced again shortly after to Dane Road and now we are told the pop-up cycle lanes will no longer be ending at Dane Road but near Stretford Tip.
Even worse is that from today no pop-up cycle lanes will be seen in Gorse Hill up to White City Retail Park although the pop-up lanes will still be active from the retail park to Cornbrook Street.
Cyclists are rightly unhappy with the council for reducing the cycle lanes just to keep the Tories and the motorists happy.
For this time we could start the blame game thing, however, we would prefer to look at what can be done for cyclists here in Trafford, without being negative what can be done?
We have to look at this with reality, Trafford was not designed for cycling, it was designed for the motorist, so now we have a big problem! where do we put our cyclists? where it won’t affect the roads, cones are not the long term answer, even with the Tories saying we need to have proper cycling infrastructure is doomed to fail.
You have to look for space and where is there any space in Trafford? where motorists are not going to be affected, can anyone think of anywhere? exactly! nowhere unless the road opens up and becomes wider.
Cycle lanes that are already installed must be upgraded, we know of cycle lanes from Heath Farm Lane in Partington that go out to Broadheath, money should be going to that, making the paths a little bit straighter and less of a maze as it currently is, more signposting would go down well and of course making sure no motorbikes can get on the path.
This would help cyclists avoid the very dangerous Sinderland Lane, it would help Partington residents in more ways than one, with a health crisis in the area getting people more active is surely something we need to be focusing on.
In the end, the council can only offer the alternative and that is cycling on the back roads which are not as safe as they claim, riding on the Bridgewater Canal towpath is the safest way to travel by bike to a degree, although the route has many people walking down it either having a stroll or walking the dog, they need to be protected and often it can become very scary as some cyclists go way too fast.
If we could somehow get the Altrincham to Sale bypass back on the table, this could free up Washway Road and surrounding roads, with some design work it could be the only real way of not only reducing pollution levels in Sale, also it would mean cars would use this new bypass and cyclists can ride in safety without the use of any cones on the A56.