A recent cycle down the Yellow Brick Road prompted me to write this post and while researching this I had a moment of discovery. I have cycled this route many times, the drop down from the Fallowfield Loop that takes you through Gorton, Abbey Hey and on to the Ashton Canal was once formed part a regular route for me. Cycling along the path under bridges, past houses and reminders of East Manchester’s industrial past it has never occurred to me what this path used to be.
Now I know, it used to be the Stockport Branch Canal and since finding this out is obvious.
The Yellow Brick Road is an extension of the FLOOP and is a great route to cycle, paved paths ducking under roads and over the odd bridge eventually arriving at the Aston Canal above Sports City.
I do not know the recent history of the Stockport Branch Canal but what I do know is that it has been converted in to a great cycling route. However, what shocked me was the absolute disregard for the environment and surroundings. What is a lovely, peaceful and interesting route to enjoy walking or on two wheels is nothing but rubbish dump.
The path has huge potential yet gives off an air of danger, dirtiness and the feeling of being unsafe. The sheer amount of litter, glass and fly tipping along the Yellow Brick Road is shocking. An enjoyable family bike ride in Manchester is turned in to a dodge the dog muck, avoid the glass and keep your wits about you sort of ride. The Stockport Branch Canal is littered with all sorts of junk. From sweet wrappers to what is obviously contents of houses, cars and handbags make it a route that I would think twice about doing again. What could be an oasis for walkers and cyclists in East Manchester is a total mess