Salford Chapel Street/New Bailey Gateway | Junction Improvement Consultation Response

As the Bee Network progresses, more schemes are coming up for consultation. One that’s recently been put up for consultation is the New Bailey Gateway, i.e. a junction improvement in the Salford City Centre at the junction of Chapel Street and New Bailey Street.

Consultation Response Template

If you just wish to respond to the consultation and want a template for some suggestions, please see below. Please change the wording to have the most effect as duplicated emails are often ignored:

I am writing to support Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) 2387 (New Bailey Gateway Phase 2). I support the proposed turn bans, one way restriction, and parking/loading restrictions to carry out the highway safety scheme proposed at the junctions of Chapel Street, Bloom Street, and New Bailey Street. The restrictions will make walking and cycling safer, and further discourage motor vehicle traffic in the city centre, as per the city’s transport strategy.

This can be sent to phlegal@manchester.gov.uk before 25th March 2022 to support the proposals.

Analysis

The current plans can be seen on the Salford Council website (click “New Bailey Gateway Phase 2”) or in the image below. The light blue lines are where the new kerbs will be: i.e. this design represents a significant extension of the footways and tightening of the road. This will improve the pedestrian experience and slow motorists.

These proposals represent a large improvement over the current layout which can be seen below:

Some followers may be disappointed that this junction is not of the CYCLOPS style that Greater Manchester is pioneering with dedicated walking and cycling crossings, however I believe that the design is still a very positive one and provides a very good level of service for walking and cycling.

We can see that there are several turn bans:

  • No left turn from Chapel Street Eastbound into Bloom Street Northbound
  • No right turn from Gore Street into New Bailey Street
  • No right turn from Chapel Street Eastbound into Spaw Street

These turn bans help to eliminate some of the conflicts cyclists could face, especially the banned left turn which prevents cyclists going eastbound on Chapel Street from coming into conflict with cars turning left across them into Bloom Street. Keeping cyclists integrated with traffic also means that cyclists are likely to benefit from longer/more frequent green lights than if they had to wait for their own signal phase as with a CYCLOPS junction.

In the westbound direction along Chapel Street, there is what is known as a “Cycle Gate“.

Cycle Gate Transport for London

This is a feature that separates all directions of motors and cycles entirely, so when cycling westbound, there is no interaction with cars at all at this junction. The linked article explains it in more detail but it essentially works as a signalised Advance Stop Line with an early release for cycles. It also cleverly integrates the Spaw Street junction to prevent any left hooks here. While it isn’t confirmed or denied on the plan above, the Eastbound cycle lane on Chapel Street could receive an early-release green light when the Cycle Gate gets a green light, to assist cyclists with motor-free movements even more!

Bloom Street is a short cul-de-sac so there is likely to be little issue with not having any specific cycling provision exiting this arm as traffic levels should be very low.

Similarly while the New Bailey Street arm is relatively busy at the moment, there will soon be a Bus Gate on the bridge from Manchester, vastly reducing the amount of traffic emerging from this arm, so it might well be much more comfortable for cycling too.

Improvements?

I believe the design should incorporate two stage right turn markings. With the current proposal, turning right on any arm except from Chapel Street to Bloom Street (thanks to the cycle gate) will be quite difficult and intimidating. You will be required to move into the centre of the road and wait there while traffic passes on both sides at speed. A two stage right turn will give cyclists a safe place to wait.

My sketch above shows in purple where the right turn boxes could be located, and the blue arrow shows the path that a right turning cyclist would take from New Bailey Street onto Chapel Street: they would wait for the green light on New Bailey Street, then proceed into the right turn box on their left. Here, they would wait for the Chapel Street signal to go green and then proceed ahead safely. There is some additional delay in waiting for the second signal, but the perceived safety is increased.

To make this uncommon movement clearer, signage could be installed on all arms as TfL have frequently done, explaining how to use this infrastructure:

The scheme represents a significant improvement on cycling provision in the city centre and requires your support!

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