Alternative Route Into Manchester

I wanted to pop into the city centre today but I wasn’t in a rush.  I ended up at the Whalley Range High School, with the intention to go onto the Fallowfield Loop to Chorlton, take Seymore Grove to Old Trafford and use the Ship Canal to get into the centre.  At the school I decided instead to follow a sign indicating a Sustrans route to Manchester.  I rode down a residential street for a while with no indication to turn off and eventually ended up in Alexandra Park. 


I saw another sign and followed it, and a series of subsequent signs around an odd and indirect route through the park which led me out onto a side street parallel to Princess Road (not the most bike friendly road around).  There was another sign which led me onto Moss Lane West, I followed.  This was the last sign I saw.  Eventually I ended up in Chorlton, at Seymore Grove as i had originally planned.  These signs are a good idea in theory; directing cyclists who want an alternative to the main routes to lesser-known back-street routes.  They always seem to fall apart by only being partially signed, which is even worse when you consider that the signs’ main target market are newer cyclists.

Still, I found a park I didn’t know about, and managed to add about 12 km onto the direct route.  I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:


Hydes Brewery on Moss Lane West.  I would recommend the brewery tour here, at the end they teach you how to pull a pint of cask ale and then leave you to it for an hour or so.


Classically bad cycle infrastructure at Old Trafford, cycle lane ends at a pinch point caused by a traffic island.


A lovely folding Raleigh Twenty “Stowaway,” locked by its front wheel only, due to badly-conceived bike parking facilities at The Lowry Outlet Mall.


Next to it a Pashley Princess and another less elegant bike locked-up together.  Could this be LC and PB visiting the Lowry Mall?


Smashed bottle in segregated cycle lane near Castlefield.  Oddly it is a Strathmore water bottle, rather than booze.


More motorised carnage on the roads just off the A57(M).  Hope everyone is alright.


Parked up outside the railway arches at UMIST.  Good spot to park up if getting a train at Piccadilly due to CCTV and university security staff nearby.


Interesting single-speed Kona I have seen around town a few times.


Another bicycle route signpost on Whitworth Street showing Piccadilly station to the left of the sign, with Piccadilly Station itself visible at the end of the street.

In the end I managed to extend the 4 km round trip into town to 23 km, partly with the help of Sustrans signposting, partly because sometimes its just nice to have a wander around on the bike.


2 thoughts on “Alternative Route Into Manchester

  1. 😉 no it wasn't us… not been that far with the bikes actually… need to investigate how to get there… perhaps along the canal from the city centre?the Tourist is looking very dashing, out and about!Sustrans leaves me baffled sometimes… I still think it's great it exists but I wonder if there was a way it could be more focused? Without taking anything away from what they do already… it's just that I wished cycling support would be aimed at inspiring the bike as a real viable means of transport not just recreational!

  2. It is a bit weird that their name suggests that they want to promote cycling as transport but they direct most of their energies into recreational routes.I think the Tourist looks more complete with the new lamp.The canal is one way to do it, although I prefer to go to the ship canal via the bridge near the Grosvenor Casino. Will post more info sometime soon.

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