Magdalene Street and Bridge Street: open at last

This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 38.

At long last the contractors have left, the no-cycling signs have been removed and cyclists can ride through once more. The major streetscape works in Magdalene Street and Bridge Street are – just about – complete.

The biggest change is the introduction of single-lane traffic in the narrow section of Magdalene Street, with traffic heading out of the city centre giving way to traffic entering it. Only time will show, however, whether drivers of northbound motor vehicles really do give way to southbound cyclists.

Image as described adjacent
The new layout at the rising bollards avoids buses swinging into the path of cyclists, but the cycle by-pass lanes are narrow and the separators may be hard to see at night.

The other big change is the introduction of two-way traffic through the rising bollards. This should reduce congestion and eliminate the problem of buses swinging into the path of cyclists when leaving the bollards. However this has meant that the cycle by-passes on either side of the bollards are very narrow, and the kerbs that were previously used to segregate the cycle by-passes have been replaced by curious black metal fences that look rather like Sheffield cycle parking racks. We hope that we don’t get any accidents caused by cyclists colliding with these fences, especially in the dark.

We have already received complaints about the advanced stop line at the north end of Magdalene Street, which for some reason only extends one-third of the way across the lane. This reduces the number of bikes that can wait there, and prevents right-turning cyclists waiting in the correct position.

New road markings have been introduced at the Bridge Street-St John’s Street-Round Church Street junction. Whilst these make the priorities rather clearer than they were previously, cyclists turning right from Bridge Street into St John’s Street have to ride the ‘wrong way’ for several metres in the face of oncoming traffic.