‘Dangerous’ Manchester cycle lane concreted over just weeks after it opens

Cycling campaigners claim Manchester City Council did not listen to their concerns about placing a cycle lane between a bus stop and a busy bus lane

A cycle lane situated between a bus stop and a bus lane in central Manchester has been removed just seven weeks after it was opened.

The lane on Portland Street sees buses moving across it in both directions and blocking the green-painted lane entirely at points as they pick up and set down passengers.

Cycling campaigners protested that the new lane – part of a £1bn scheme to make roads safer for cyclists in the city – sandwiched riders between buses. It has now been covered with concrete.

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Nick Hubble, of Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC), told the Manchester Evening News: “Although GMCC and others raised very legitimate concerns over the proposed design at the planning and consultation stage, these were largely ignored and the scheme was built in full awareness that it would put cyclists at risk.

“However, once built the council quickly realised that cyclists’ concerns were justified.

“Within a few weeks of the road reopening, a dangerous stretch of cycle lane that forced people to ride between a bus lay-by and a bus lane at the Oxford Road junction was removed, and this weekend a stretch with the same design outside Dawsons music shop has similarly been painted out.”

Mr Hubble urged the council to learn from the lessons brought up by the Portland Street “debacle” and said future designs need to balance the needs of all road users.

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Councillor Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Removing this section of cycle lane was a simple change that we feel provides more flexibility for cyclists and drivers at a point in the highway where bikes and buses interact closely.

“Portland Street will be monitored continually to observe how the changes to the highway are bedding in. Further up Portland Street, near Newton Street and Piccadilly for example, we are working with [Transport for Greater Manchester] to address the issue of buses obstructing the cycle lane when stopping for passengers.”