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Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 15 Nov 2009, 11:20pm
by volvicspar
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.

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 16 Nov 2009, 9:31am
by Karen Sutton
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

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 16 Nov 2009, 2:40pm
by skrx
If you have time then you could go to a drop-in session: http://www.oldham.gov.uk/index/metrolink-drop-in.htm

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 17 Nov 2009, 9:19am
by volvicspar
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 :)

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 17 Nov 2009, 12:55pm
by EdinburghFixed
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!

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 19 Nov 2009, 11:29am
by dave holladay
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.

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 19 Nov 2009, 12:50pm
by skrx
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.)

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 19 Nov 2009, 1:53pm
by volvicspar
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. :|

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 19 Nov 2009, 2:27pm
by skrx
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).

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 20 Nov 2009, 12:56pm
by Sares
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?

Re: Manchester-Ashton Trams extension

Posted: 24 Nov 2009, 1:08am
by dave holladay
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? .....