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A group of cyclists in Manchester have expressed their frustration as a number of cycle lanes across the city continue to be blocked by ‘ignorant drivers’.

Walk Ride GM, a campaign group working to make walking, cycling and other active modes the top choice for commuting in the region, has highlighted the “epidemic” of drivers who abandon their cars on city bike lanes and sidewalks.

According to the group, a cycle path along Cornbrook Road in Stretford is one of the worst affected, with a number of cyclists reporting it as being blocked by parked cars for the past two weeks.

Greater Manchester Police’s Stretford Division confirmed they had received ‘lots of complaints’ about parking in the area, while Trafford Council said the issue was ‘on their radar’.

Although the police and council are aware of the problem, Claire Stocks of campaign group Walk Ride told the Manchester Evening News the problem is only getting worse.

She said: “More and more drivers seem to be parking in a very anti-social way, and we’re seeing that across the country. We want the government to introduce a carriageway parking ban, but we also believe local councils can do more to introduce bans in specific areas.

“We have a problem because there are so many more cars on the roads, probably four times as many cars on the road now as when I was young. When people get behind the wheel they often see a gap and think just that they can leave it there if there are no signs telling them not to.

“It’s often because people try to avoid high parking fees, especially in cities, and we know that built cities are not able to cope with such heavy traffic and there is no there is no space to park.

“A lot of people don’t realize the impact they have by blocking a sidewalk or a bike lane and I think it’s often not deliberate, but it’s out of ignorance. We also see it with the delivery drivers, who are in a hurry and park willy-nilly wherever they can.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said the issue was beyond their control, saying: ‘We have been made aware of this issue, however, there is currently no Traffic Control Order (TRO) in place. which restricts the parking of vehicles on this road. .

“Although we therefore cannot enforce it, local elected officials have been pushing the police to act for some time and we welcome the measures taken by GMP using their powers.

“We remind motorists that they should not park where they would cause inconvenience, especially on cycle paths.

“Cycling is a great way to travel – it’s cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly – so we’re taking a strong stand against the blocking of cycle paths.”

They added that the problem extended beyond Cornbrook to Gorse Hill and Trafford Park, and that they were carrying out a ‘wider review of enforcement’.

“This includes looking at creating a TRO so that if reckless parking continues, we can take action and make sure cycle lanes are not blocked.”

Transport for Greater Manchester’s city center transport strategy is currently underway, with the aim that 90% of all trips to the city center during the morning rush hour will be made on foot, by bike or by public transport before 2040.

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