THE first ‘Trixi’ safety mirrors are being fitted at key road junctions across Greater Manchester, including Trafford, as part of an ongoing programme to improve road safety for cyclists.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is leading on the £650,000 safety scheme, which also includes more advance stop lines for cyclists at junctions.
Councils have helped to identify 176 road junctions across Greater Manchester with a left hand turn that would most benefit from safety improvements. Twenty-four of these junctions are in Trafford.
Some of the junctions will have large convex ‘Trixi’ mirrors fitted to traffic signals to give drivers of large vehicles better visibility of cyclists, who can be caught in a blind spot.
The mirrors also raise awareness of cyclists on the road and the need to share space respectfully.
Advance stop lines for cyclists are also being marked at some junctions, allowing cyclists to position themselves ahead of and in full view of other traffic, away from exhaust fumes.
Funding for the £650,000 programme of work has come from the Department for Transport’s Cycle Safety fund, which is administered by leading UK charity Sustrans and the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership.
Councillor Chris Paul, TFGM committee’s cycling champion, said: “Any road accident is one too many and any measures we can take to improve cycling safety should be welcome.
“Trixi mirrors and advance stop lines are just a few among many safety initiatives being introduced across Greater Manchester, but they will only help if everyone shares our roads in a respectful, caring way.
“Where we can, Greater Manchester is also investing in traffic free cycle routes, reduced speed zones and developing other measures at junctions to help cyclists.
“We hope that the combination of all these initiatives will not only improve road safety, but encourage more people to consider commuting by bike.”
Sustrans' regional director for the north west, Eleanor Roaf, said: “Fear of traffic danger is the number one reason preventing people from travelling by bike so it's fantastic to see such a comprehensive improvement to safety on Manchester's roads.
“By increasing the visibility of cyclists while also giving them priority at junctions the chance of an incident occurring between a cyclist and motorist is significantly reduced.
“The safer we make our roads, the more people are encouraged to travel by bike and that makes for healthier, cleaner and more prosperous Greater Manchester.”
Between 2011 and 2015 Greater Manchester will have received £37m government funding for cycling improvements ranging from cycle hubs, to new cycle routes and road safety improvements.
Through its Velocity 2025 cycling vision Greater Manchester is gearing up to introduce an initial 56km network of – where possible – separated cycle lanes. This will go hand-in-hand with cycle and ride stations and an ambitious education programme (visit: http://cycling.tfgm.com/velocity/). The target is for 10 per cent of trips to be made by bike by 2025 subject to continued government funding.
TfGM already offers a range of free courses to help people living or working in Greater Manchester learn to ride, improve their cycling skills and keep their bike in good condition. More information is available at http://cycling.tfgm.com/training.htm.
Last year TfGM worked with bus operator Stagecoach on a campaign to warn cyclists of the dangers of passing buses on the inside – with large, bright yellow warning stickers on the back of 750 buses. Bus driver safety training is also underway.