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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Crap Walking in Rochdale

Last night, due to train cancellation I found myself at a loose end in Rochdale. To pass the time and keep warm I decided to walk to the next railway station along the line, Castleton a distance of 3.5 km away. The trip was practically a guide to the routine mistreatment of pedestrians which goes on everywhere in the UK.

The pavement was completely covered in ice the whole way, next to roads which had been gritted days ago. At one point the ice turned back to snow and I realised that I was walking on a grass verge rather than a pavement, which had ended abruptly a few meters prior for no obvious reason. When I got the the first of the junctions I was to traverse I was confronted with this:

Four pedestrian crossings required to cross one side of a the junction. Naturally pedestrians have the absolute lowest priority in this layout, so I was forced to jump the red. I hope the motorists didn't lose respect for me and other pedestrians in the process. Having tackled that junction, when I came up to the next, I noticed that someone had seen fit to block my way with an unnecessary fence.

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Luckily, being able bodied and reasonably fit I was able to traverse this pointless obstacle. The pavement became slightly less icy after this point:

Eventually I passed a bus stop as a budget JPT bus was letting a passenger off. I saw the fairly low price of a ticket advertised on the window of the bus and decided to end my misery there. Thanks Rochdale MBC for making choosing to walk in Rochdale even less appealing.


  1. " a loose end in Rochdale..."

    That is never a good start to any story. Looks like you did the best thing and got out of there as soon as you could!

  2. Mad. Glad you survived. As you jumped the fences & skipped across the red lights, could you hear 'Man from U.N.C.L.E' music in the background?

  3. When that Cycling Dictator comes to power he/she should build a concrete wall around Rochdale and all the 4x4 drivers can live in there. Bit like Escape from L.A. but with Range Rovers.

    The two junctions you show are both brand new. All built 2 years ago, previously they were Massive Roundabouts of Doom. Nice to see they spent millions of £ replacing them with something so much better isn't it!?. ;-)

  4. @Darrell

    After I set off walking I remembered from my childhood that the part of town I was walking through wasn't exactly the most crime-free. Luckily the ice seemed to keep everyone else off the streets.


    I think I had That's Entertainment by The Jam on whilst I was RLJing and fence-hopping.


    Those junctions are awful for pedestrians. The first one had a subway when it was a roundabout, although due to non-driving social problems it wasn't very nice to use. The second roundabout had the same level of pedestrian facilities as it does now. At least the new mega-junctions are marginally less cyclist-unfriendly.

    When I've been on my bike in Rochdale I've only ever seen one other citizen cyclist. The rest have been Sunday club rides or lone racers. Even the lone racers have given me the nod of solidarity, simply because the environment for cycling in Rochdale is so hostile.


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