Council responds to backlash after removing cycle lane because drivers complained

The pop-up path was only in place for 48 hours before the council caved to pressure from motorists

The council that removed a cycle lane after 48 hours because drivers complained has responded to the backlash.

Trafford Council has been criticised after it scrapped a pop-up cycle lane which had been installed to get more people cycling as coronavirus lockdown is eased.

The temporary lane in Sale, just outside Manchester, was put in place last weekend but was taken down shortly after because motorists complained about the traffic.

Leader of the council, Andrew Western, has now responded to the criticism and offered an explanation as to why the lane was removed.

Councillor Western said: “Since the easing of lockdown, the traffic situation in Sale was becoming unmanageable so we have taken the decision to pull back the cycle lanes to Dane Road.

“We had followed government advice to re-designate road space for walking and cycling and the scheme progressed with only minimal disruption to traffic in the initial stages.

“This has now changed so we have listened to people’s opinions and acted accordingly.”

The lane on the A56 near Sale was part of a seven-mile stretch of new cycle paths between Manchester city centre and Altrincham, but the lanes have now been scaled back to Sale town centre.

One driver claimed it took him an hour to drive two miles on the A56 because of the lane.

With workers urged to avoid public transport where possible and fears that more people could be jumping in cars for their commutes, authorities across the country have been working fast to make the roads safer for cyclists.

To get more people on bikes, the government has announced a £2 billion investment in cycling and walking, councils have been given new powers to stop drivers parking in cycle lanes, and pop-up cycle lanes have been put in place.

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Trafford Council said it is working with Transport for Greater Manchester to provide an alternative cycle route from Sale through to Altrincham.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.