I had pause for reflection recently whilst lying sprawled in the middle of the A662 in Droylsden, Manchester, over the wisdom of mixing rails for light rail systems with tarmac for road users.
The two are clearly designed to do different jobs as I found out to my cost when crossing the rails by bicycle.
Whilst repairing my bike with the assistance of a nearby motorcycle shop I learnt that my experience was not a one off , with a number of motorcyclists having come off their bikes in the last few weeks on this section of road alone.
These events have clearly not escaped the attention of the local authority as once I continued my journey I met regular warning signs advising cyclists to take care crossing the rails. If this situation was only during the construction phase that would be one thing, but the permanent road and rail layout requires the acute crossing of the rails at a number of places where the Metrolink line leaves the road alignment.
Clearly my accident will not be the last on this section of road, which is one of the main routes to the nearby National Cycling Centre, and I question whether the CDM responsibility of the scheme designer to avoid foreseeable risks to health and safety can be discharged through the provision of copious warning signs.
- John Rigby-Jones (M), director, RJM Ground Solutions, email@example.com