Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Red Ways

The Red Ways of Milton Keynes are a great help to the commuting cyclist. Red Ways are for use by pedestrians and cyclists. The tarmac is not really red, but defiantly a shade of pinky grey. There are also bridal ways for horses although not so many of these. The Red Ways typically run along side the road, but are almost always totally segregated. Wonderful. But they could have been better by simply labelling up the Red Ways with the name of the road it follows. As a newcomer to MK, I got totally lost on them. The problem is that they defiantly don’t always follow the road, and can disappear into a housing estate. Trying to find your way out and recover your direction is a matter of trial and error. That said, they are far better than anything in my home town area, Manchester. Imagine the Fallowfield Loop, but all over Manchester. The thorny question of how to get a push bike across a roundabout is totally solved by bridges for the use of pedestrians and cyclists. This type of infrastructure could not realistically be retrofitted to Manchester. But, all in all, a pretty good solution for Milton Keynes. 
A Red Way cycle route with bridal way alongside.

Here is a Red Way / Bridal way crossing.


  1. Compared to the view of MK that I've always been sold Calvers, it looks quite friendly. Not quite Hembrowland, but as you say, quite a step up from Greater Manchester ;>D

    Cheers for showing the place in a different light.

    P.S: Looking forward to Calvers:Denmark and the cycling facilities therein!

  2. Dave Williams of Hyde, Cheshire17 February 2011 at 11:04

    I think you mean 'bridle ways for horses', unless horses are seeking the right to marry as some kind of equality move?

  3. The infrastructure in MK is pretty good, a good carrot to get people out of their cars. It is not backed up by much stick though, the roads in MK are good for driving too. As I have said elsewhere, segregation is the biggest part of the mass cycling puzzle, making it progressively less appealing to drive whilst improving the existing cycle facilities should be easy enough though; unlike the rest of the UK, they have a lot of the work done for them already.

    The very problems with implementing the roundabout bypasses in other parts of the country could easily become assets to cycling promotion; ripping out a roundabout and installing a traffic light controlled junction with a good (NL-grade) provision for cyclists would simultaneously make cycling more attractive and driving less so.

  4. @Ian. Yea, Calvers:Denmark will be done, once I get a broadband connection set up.
    @Dave. Nice one. Such a good comment that I’m not going to correct the spelling mistake. It’s funnier as it is. Thanks for pointing out my error :-)
    @Mr.C. The down side of the good cycling infrastructure is that if you do need to cycle on the road (and some times you do as in some places there are no Red Ways) you’re venture into the car’s domain, they will try to kill you as clearly you are not meant to be there!