The most dangerous cycle routes in Manchester have been revealed along with figures that show cyclists are involved in nearly five crashes a week in Manchester. There have been more than 700 bike accidents on Manchester’s roads in three years. Four people have been killed and 70 seriously injured.
The most dangerous cycle route in Manchester has been names as Wilmslow Road, which runs from Manchester University to East Didsbury, with 66 reported accidents between 2005 and 2007. Oxford Road had 22 accidents – the highest number per mile. Barlow Moor Road and Stockport Road, also south of the city centre, saw 21 and 17 accidents each.
Enjoy Cycling is alarmed by the news along with Cycle campaigners who described the figures as `shocking’.
Graeme Sherriff, Manchester transport campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s shocking to hear there is one accident every working day. It puts people off what is a brilliant and healthy activity.”
Figures show that south Manchester is the riskiest area for cyclists. Thousands of riders use the busy Oxford Road corridor due to the flat area and large student population. Crash victims are mainly men, aged between 16 and 59. Mr Sherriff, 31, broke his arm in a cycling accident on Oxford Road three years ago. He appealed for motorists to look out for vulnerable cyclists and stick to speed limits.
He said: “The Oxford Road corridor is perceived to be quite dangerous for cyclists because of the level of traffic on the road. “Broken cycle paths that end abruptly at junctions can confuse people on bikes and in cars. The greatest risk is when cars turn left and go straight into a cyclist.
“There must be consistent cycle paths and greater enforcement of speed limits. Drivers need to check their blind spot on both sides of the car.”
The figures come as we reveal that Commonwealth Games medallist Emma Davies Jones has had to quit professional cycling three years after being knocked off her bike in Manchester.
Then aged 27, she was millimetres from paralysis after the accident on a marked cycle path, on Pottery Lane, in West Gorton. She said: “This is about responsible drivers more than cycle paths. I’ve experienced people driving erratically or coming close behind me and leaning out of the window to scream in my ear. It sends out the wrong message if motorists can get away with causing accidents.
“But cyclists need to take care too. Jumping traffic lights is not acceptable.”
Manchester council spokesman Coun Richard Cowell said schemes including raised and contraflow cycle paths would encourage cycling and reduce accidents.
He said: “There is a strong focus on the Wilmslow Road/Oxford Road corridor as this route has both the highest flow of cyclists in Greater Manchester and also the highest number of cycling casualties.”
Online cycle journey planners will be launched by all Greater Manchester councils next year.