Greater Manchester opens UK’s first CYCLOPS junction

Author: Richard Adams

The UK‘s first CYCLOPS (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) junction was recently launched in Hulme, South Manchester. The unique design separates pedestrians and cyclists from traffic, reducing the possibility of collisions or conflict.

By fully segregating cyclists, it improves safety for all road users. Pedestrians are also able to get where they want to be in fewer stages, and have more space to wait than on other junction designs.

People crossing over the new Royce Road junction

Image by: Transport for Greater Manchester

Installed as part of the Manchester to Chorlton cycling and walking route, the first-of-its-kind-junction will act as a blueprint for future junctions in Greater Manchester’s Bee Network. The 800 mile joined-up walking and cycling network will be the largest in the UK upon completion.

“Crossing busy junctions on foot or by bike can be a complicated and scary experience for people travelling…having to navigate a number of these can make them opt for the car."

“With …cycling trips up by 34% and cycling and walking trips now counting for 33% of all journeys in Greater Manchester, this junction design will make journeys easier and smoother for those…cycling or walking, without impacting negatively on any other modes.”

Chris Boardman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner

Transport for Greater Manchester developed the junction in response to some of the flaws in existing UK junction designs, whilst also considering how to make the junction work for all modes.

CYCLOPS designers, TfGM Engineers Richard Butler and Jonathan Salter said, “The main difference between this and traditional UK junction designs is that cyclists are offered an alternative safer route around the junction.”

Dutch and Danish inspiration, through Handshake, was important in the CYCLOPS Design. Members of the team looked at practices applied to signalised intersections in the “Cycling Capitals", using this knowledge to devise new ways of applying Dutch principles of separate signal control for cyclists in the UK context. 

Due to different regulations, the junction looks very different to those in the Netherlands, with the cycle circulatory carriageway positioned on the outside of the pedestrians, whilst the usual Dutch practice is on the inside. Despite this, it retains an inherently Dutch character.

Find out about Greater Manchester's work within Handshake here.

Image by: Transport for Greater Manchester

This project has received funding from the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement no 769177.

The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the CIVITAS Handshake project and in no way reflects the views of the European Commission.