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UK’s first bike roundabout leaves locals baffled

UK’s first bike roundabout leaves locals baffled

"An ideological desire to keep peds and cycles separate has blinkered the designers' common sense"

A new bike roundabout thought to be the first of its kind in the UK has opened in Salford, and it's safe so say it's left cyclists a little confused.

As outlined by Salford City Council, the new development is part of its multi-million Trafford Road improvement scheme.

Designed to improve safety for pedestrians, the mini roundabout is separate to motor traffic and has been placed at the junction of separate cycle lanes.

A new bike roundabout said to be the 'first of its kind' has opened in Salford.
Salford City Council

Councillor Mike McCusker, lead member for planning and sustainable development, said: "This is possibly the first roundabout of its kind in the country, so it is certainly creating some debate and we have had a lot of positive feedback.

"The roundabout allows pedestrians to cross the junction safely in two short moves so they only have to be aware of one lane of cycle traffic at a time.

"It provides a quicker crossing for them and is safer than trying to cross a wider junction with traffic from both directions.

"It has been designed to accommodate people on foot or in wheelchairs or pushing buggies.

"Cyclists circulate round it like a ‘normal’ road roundabout so they, too, can get round this junction safely without putting pedestrians in danger."

The new development has been criticised by some.
Salford City Council

But not everyone is convinced by the new development, which links bike lanes on Trafford Road, Broadway and Rowland Street.

Taking to Twitter, Harry Gray, spokesperson for Walk Ride Central Salford, said: "First, the pedestrian experience here is hugely compromised.

"You have to cross into a ring of fire to exit. Every desire line is away from the path you are supposed to take.

"Similarly, the cycle desire line is also the opposite to what's designed. You want to either cut across the opposite lane or go across the middle. These both leave peds and cycles in conflict.

"For these reasons, there is actually more conflict here than if the design was left to the users via shared space.

"An ideological desire to keep peds and cycles separate has blinkered the designers' common sense.

Walk Ride Central Salford's Harry Gray explained why he's not a fan of the design.

"The reason given for a roundabout is capacity, yet because of the kerbs, radius and general lack of space - the capacity here is actually lower than if it was shared space or a cross roads.

"I don't design cycle lanes, but I use them every day, as a pedestrian, as a road cyclist and as a cargo bike rider. The user is always right."

Another wrote: "All the design does successfully is to inconvenience the less able-bodied."

Meanwhile, pedestrian Alex Osbourne told the Daily Mail: "I can’t see cyclists going all the way around it. They’ll just take a shortcut."

LADbible has contacted Salford City Council for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Salford City Council

Topics: UK News, Cars