Progress on the Stretford Cycleway – Mid November 2018 (Part 2)

Stretford Road

While there hasn’t been a great deal of change on Talbot Road since my last post. It’s a very different situation down Stretford Road.

Right at the start of Streford Road near the Westpoint junction, you can see improvements currently in progress as part of the CCAG2+ scheme. Protection at this point is really welcome, as the corner here used to be a real pinch point and pretty unpleasant. Particularly if you ever had to take it while a bus was turning.

Once this work is complete, it’ll be far more pleasant. Though I hope they take the opportunity to resurface this section of the cycleway, as the surface is really poor.

New protected section at the start of Stretford Road, makes it much more pleasant

At the time of my last post, there was a section outside the shops, just after Northumberland Road that hadn’t had any work done to it. This caused a few comments on Twitter as it was making it a bit tricky to cycle along here.

It turned out there was a reason for this. There was an outstanding objection, due to the dropped kerbs and access to the shops. The plans for this section had to be revised to include access.

Thankfully, this has all been sorted now and the cycleway has been completed. This makes this section more much pleasant to ride down, and it doesn’t seem as though including access has made much of a change.

Section at the shops after Northumberland Road now complete

As with Talbot Road, more paint has gone down across the junctions, so that the cycleway is more visible. I’d love to say this means drivers think twice before pulling out. But unfortunately, my experiences of using the cyclway at peak time shows this isn’t the case. Quite often, it’s necessary to swerve across the path of vehicles sticking out of junctions.

More paint has gone down, but is it working? Seems doubtful

The bus stop bypasses on the outbound side were very much work in progress during my last post. I’m pleased to say these are all complete, with the exception of some paint on the one closest to the Westpoint junction.

In contrast to the inbound side, all three bus stop bypasses on the outbound are of the same type. You ride up to pavement level as you pass behind the bus stop and there’s just paint separating people walking and cycling.

Unlike the one on the outbound side, there’s very little space around the back of these bus stops, so I expect there will be some conflict at busy times.

One of the newly completed outbound bus stop bypasses

Another problem with the bus stop bypasses are the kerbs at the start and end of each one. These are supposed to be flush with road surface, but they’re clearly not. So there’s a bump as you enter and leave them. Combined this with the tight angles and it’s not a great experience.

It’s disappointing they’ve done a really poor job of these. Ideally, I’d prefer there to be no kerb at all. But if they have to be there, they should truly flush.

Really poorly fitted kerbs causing a bump on the bus stop bypasses

Another problem right now are the amount of leaves on the cycleway. Obviously, being autumn it’s particularly bad right now. It’s a little disappointing there hasn’t been action yet from the council, despite it being reported by many different users. Though it is supposedly on the list to be done. We’ll see.

It’s quite dangerous at the moment as the leaves are turning to mush, with the combination of rain and tyres. So I hope it’s sorted soon and I hope we get a regular cleaning schedule for the cycleway.

Still waiting for the council to clear the leaves

Now that Stretford Road is nearly complete, you can really appreciate how much of a difference it makes to cycling along here. It’s now a reasonably pleasant and stress-free experience, which a world away from what it used to be.

The real issue now is that it finishes at the Manchester border and doesn’t continue into Hulme. You really notice how bad that section is as you leave the cycleway. Hopefully, in the Beelines future, we’ll see an end to cycleways that just finish because they hit a local authority boundary.

Back to part 1 – Talbot Road

Next to part 3 – Future schemes

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