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Cyclists call for proper segregation as brazen vandals steal bike lane cones again

OneTrafford confirmed "systematic theft" of cycle lane cones had been reported to the police ...

Vandalism has once again hit the A56 cycle lane in Manchester, exasperated local cyclists now calling for more effective segregation after the cones separating the major A-road's bike lane from traffic were removed, this time along the entire stretch of infrastructure.

Last week, to a backdrop of Manchester being named the named 'worst city in Europe for green transport' by a report, vandals removed cones, the OneTrafford partnership saying it hoped to replace them soon.

> Cyclists call out latest bike lane vandalism as city named 'worst in Europe for green transport'

However, now a week on, a campaign group dedicated to cycle safety along the route reported that "the whole lot have been removed", prompting thoughts it may this time involve the council and not just vandals.

Those claims were quickly refuted by OneTrafford who instead revealed it was "systematic theft" and the vandalism had been reported to the police.

"This has been reported to the police and we'll be working with the police going forward on this matter," it confirmed.

One local rider said: "The cones completely gone from Talbot Road to motorway junction at Stretford along Chester Road — this is the only safe utility cycle route between town and Stretford/Sale — absolute shambles. We need permanent segregation asap."

Another added: "Just noticed this as well — please can we have an escalated response to this? Slowness in restoring them is making things very dangerous. Do we need [to] bring in some heavy stuff that can't be moved while the plans are finalised?"

Amid speculation, OneTrafford clarified on social media: "Just so you're aware, the A56 cones have not been removed by the council, these were part of a systematic theft of the cones overnight. This has been reported to the police and we'll be working with the police going forward on this matter."

The A56 Safety Campaign page also noted that elsewhere, in Stretford, cones had been removed, apparently for roadworks, with cyclists dismount signs placed on the route.

In response to last week's vandalism, Trafford Council told road.cc: "We understand the importance of safe travel provision, which is why our traffic team regularly check the lanes to replace any missing cones. However continual theft and vandalism of cones means we're unable to replace them as quickly as they are removed.

"We are proposing to replace the cones on this section of the highway with an interim cycling scheme and have invested heavily in active travel schemes across the borough of Trafford."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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6 comments

Avatar
mitsky | 9 months ago
3 likes

(Some) motorists, to cyclists: "Use the cycle lane!" (even if none exists)

...

(Cyclists get semi-usefull cycle lane...)

...

(Motorists then get so jealous they rip it out so that they can use it too...)

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 9 months ago
4 likes

The motor vehicles only have 4 lanes at that point so they are pretty squashed tbf. 

Avatar
Accessibility f... | 9 months ago
11 likes

Enough nonsense from Trafford Council.  There are traffic monitoring cameras on the A56/Edge Lane junction, and at A56/Talbot Road.  They can be accessed here:

https://tfgm.com/roads/live-traffic-cameras

There is no technical reason I can see why the output of those two cameras can't be recorded so images of the perpetrators can be captured.

This has been going on for well over a year now, the cones have been in place for three years.  The council is clearly run by car addicts who don't care about active travel.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
8 likes

Surely the key question is WTF is it half arsed cones in the first place?

 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
1 like

Clearly a flagshit "cycling facility".  We fixed it with plastic cones.  For 3 years...

Cycling in the UK would be better if councils just fessed up that they're not going to spend more than pennies * - but got functional and did something with them.  So more than cones and paint, less than "standard Copenhagen" (pretty rudimentary actually).

It needs barriers that several hefty types can't just shift about.  Barriers that actually stop cars driving (and parking) there but aren't more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.  It will still need regular maintenance as people crash into everything.  Some actively seek to trash any barriers "in my way" too.

War zone cycling infra if you will: cheap, ugly, but deployed all over urban areas quick to keep the ... panzers out.

* Of course many of them are actively seeking ways to spend cycling cash to fix motoring / bus issues, or at least spend it so doesn't changing anything for those driving.  Doesn't hurt if a couple of million end up in acquaintances' / local pockets.

Avatar
lonpfrb replied to Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
2 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Surely the key question is WTF is it half arsed cones in the first place?

Plastic cones or batons are a pointless waste of tax payers money. They serve no purpose other than to identify the highway authorities who are to stupid to create real infrastructure. Segregation means separation by a curb that can't be crossed with frequent bollards to defeat the panzers, and safeguard pedestrians crossing too.

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