Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

volvicspar
Posts: 6
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 11:01pm

Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby volvicspar » 15 Nov 2009, 11:20pm

Hi,
I was wondering if anybody had any more specific details of the trams extension. It appears
that the tram stations are going to be on alternate sides of the road going up Ashton Old Road,
this is a concern for me as this means that the tram lines will cross the roads at an impossible to
avoid angle (lethal if you are on a road bike). I've written the council to ask about their plans
specifically several times but they have replied saying that they do not know the details(how?!)
and to email metro link, which I have done but got no reply. All the details I can find on the
internet are extremely vague. I want to know if the council is planning anything for cyclists to get past
these lines (this is a key route in and out of Manchester, and to the Velodrome).

I hope I've missed something obvious and there will be no problems for cyclists but I doubt it with the council.

Any information will be appreciated.

Karen Sutton
Posts: 608
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:18pm
Location: Greater Manchester

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby Karen Sutton » 16 Nov 2009, 9:31am

I don't have the answer but I do know that if there is any information on this issue then Greater Manchester Cycle Campaign will have it. They have their finger closely on the pulse of all things pertaining to Metrolink. They have been lobbying Metrolink since its inception to facilitate carriage of cycles on the trams. Look a their website and if there is no information on there then contact one of their activists whose details will be on the website: http://www.gmcc.org.uk

skrx
Posts: 188
Joined: 5 Jan 2009, 12:23pm
Location: South West Inner London

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby skrx » 16 Nov 2009, 2:40pm

If you have time then you could go to a drop-in session: http://www.oldham.gov.uk/index/metrolink-drop-in.htm

volvicspar
Posts: 6
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 11:01pm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby volvicspar » 17 Nov 2009, 9:19am

Thanks for the replies, I'll have a look and see what I can do.

Also my post should have read that the trams go up Ashton new road not Ashton old road (I always get them mixed up!),
just in case anyone was confused :)

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EdinburghFixed
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 7:03pm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby EdinburghFixed » 17 Nov 2009, 12:55pm

At a slight tangent, I found myself crossing Princes St in Edinburgh on Friday night and got a look at the tram works they've got going there.

I had always assumed that the trams would sort of stick to the middle of the road (like the central reservation on a dual carriageway) but it looks disturbingly as if a normal, positive riding position will result in continuous close-calls with the nearside rail. However, at least it is quiet. If Leith Walk ends up like that, there will be a lot of accidents!

dave holladay
Posts: 284
Joined: 4 Apr 2007, 12:25pm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby dave holladay » 19 Nov 2009, 11:29am

Old tram systems in the UK and practically every tram system in other countries puts the rails in the middle of the road - anyone care to start a list?

Only in the UK it seems do thay make that rod for their own back in precipitous footway edges (where it is not simply a 6" drop), and all the other problems for other road users

NB there is an inquiry being carried out by MP's on the pros and cons of current UK Light Rail (ie including DLR and T&W Metro) if you have any comments to make to PTEG and the All Party Light Rail interest group, there is an opportunity to submit something - written as the oral submission sessions are fully booked-up. If you want to contribute to CTC response with local intelligence drop me/Chris Peck a short e-mail direct.

skrx
Posts: 188
Joined: 5 Jan 2009, 12:23pm
Location: South West Inner London

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby skrx » 19 Nov 2009, 12:50pm

A quick look at my nearest tram system via Google StreetView (I've never actually been to Croydon) suggests the rails are close to the middle of the road, but the roads are often so narrow that it's irrelevant.

The only city with trams that I've spent more than a few hours in is Leipzig. Newer and more central areas with wide enough streets had small (20cm) platforms for the trams so there wasn't a step, older areas or narrow roads meant you had to step into the street. I think cars were forbidden from overtaking a tram stopped at a tram stop. The rails were always in the middle of the road. (And the best thing -- the city centre was closed to all traffic, including trams, except for a single bus route and bicycles. Pedestrian paradise! The trams went round the ring road.)

volvicspar
Posts: 6
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 11:01pm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby volvicspar » 19 Nov 2009, 1:53pm

HI,
the rails probably will be in the middle of the road, but the problem is that there is going to be 4 stations
in about 1.5 miles, each on alternating sides of the road which appear to be on opposite sides of the road
(I don't think they can get permission to demolish everything along one side of the road) so you will have tram
lines crossing the road to each station at an angle regularly along the road, which will be really dangerous. :|

skrx
Posts: 188
Joined: 5 Jan 2009, 12:23pm
Location: South West Inner London

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby skrx » 19 Nov 2009, 2:27pm

That's a bit strange. I would do something like this (based on what I've seen in Germany and France):
Image
The northbound lane has room for a raised platform (level with the road where the zebra crossing is, sloping up to be at the level of the tram floor, with a fence and shelters on the left side of the platform).

Perhaps the problem is that there isn't room for something like this, in which case I can't think of any way to keep the rails away from the side of the road but still have a platform (presumably a requirement for disabled people).
Image Attachments
trams.png
trams.png (3.92 KiB) Viewed 1643 times

Sares
Posts: 253
Joined: 4 Feb 2007, 3:34pm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby Sares » 20 Nov 2009, 12:56pm

I can't quite picture how platforms on alternating sides of the road would work for general traffic, either. Would the trams be sometimes going the wrong direction in a lane?

dave holladay
Posts: 284
Joined: 4 Apr 2007, 12:25pm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Postby dave holladay » 24 Nov 2009, 1:08am

First - when trams stop in the middle of the road in Toronto and Hong Kong and I imagine most other places where this happens the law is that no traffic is allowed to pass on the nearside, so that the passengers can walk out from the footway and board.

Second - the modern trams in use in Frieburg and most other well conceived systems have walk-on low floors and press-button bridging ramps for wheelchair users who might not want to do the wheelchair equivalent of a bunny hop (I could mount, or drop off a 6" kerb, after a spell using a wheelchair when I had a foot operation). Unfortunately several of our mixed up money-saving schemes use old railway lines and keep the old platforms and then have to provide the equivalent on the street so that people can get on to the trams. I wonder on balance whether it might not have been better to build new tram-stops on the old rail lines without the high platforms so that the high platforms would not then be needed on the streets? .....