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Manchester opens UK’s first CYCLOPS cycling junction

Posted: 10 July 2020 |

The design has been lauded by experts nationally and internationally, with the approach being adopted in Cambridge, Lancashire and Ottawa in Canada.

Manchester opens UK’s first CYCLOPS cycling junction

Credit: Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)

The UK‘s first CYCLOPS (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) cycling junction has been launched in Hulme, South Manchester, designed to separate pedestrians and cyclists from traffic, reducing the possibility of collisions or conflict.

Installed as part of the Manchester to Chorlton cycling and walking route, the first-of-its-kind-junction will act as a blueprint for future junctions as part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network, an 1,800 mile joined-up walking and cycling network, connecting communities across the city-region. 

Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Crossing busy junctions on foot or by bike can be a complicated and scary experience and is often a huge barrier for people travelling by foot or bike, and having to navigate a number of these can make them opt for the car.

“Particularly right now, as we’ve seen cycling trips up by 34 per cent and cycling and walking trips now counting for 33 per cent of all journeys in Greater Manchester, this junction design will make journeys easier and smoother for those doing their bit by cycling or walking, without impacting negatively on any other modes. This design is simply genius and I’m not surprised to see other places already adopting the approach.”

This new approach to junction design was developed by Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) traffic engineers and walking and cycling team in response to some of the alleged flaws in existing UK junction designs, whilst also considering how to make the junction work for all modes.

CYCLOPS designers, TfGM Engineers Richard Butler and Jonathan Salter, said: “The main difference between this junction and traditional UK junction designs is that cyclists are offered an alternative safer route around the junction. They are no longer required to position themselves on the nearside of the lane, allowing vehicles to pass on their offside which is often the cause of so-called ‘left hook’ cycling incidents, where cyclists going ahead are struck by a vehicle turning left from the same lane.

“The CYCLOPS resolves this with its ‘external orbital cycle route’ which separates cyclists from motor traffic. Bicycles approaching from all four ‘arms’ can use the cycle track which encircles the junction to make left, ahead and right turning movements safely protected from traffic.”

Other benefits of the design include:

  • Cyclist and pedestrian phases can run simultaneously
  • Pedestrian crossing times are shorter and closer to desire lines, including the potential for diagonal pedestrian crossings
  • Cyclists have protected right turn on a gentle radius, and can filter left without signal control
  • Journey times for all modes navigating the junctions, including motor traffic, are not negatively affected.
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