Anyone who has ever spent any period of time just outside Piccadilly undercroft on London Road watching or photographing Manchester Metrolink will know how often trams gets delayed by traffic encroaching on the rather obvious yellow box junction and now Transport for Greater Manchester have released video footage together with a warning to motorists. The video footage shows that over a six hour period a total of 640 vehicles entered the yellow box when the exit was not clear and 114 of those went on to block the tram tracks.
The film was captured over a three day period between 1630 and 1830 and also shows several near misses as vehicles cross tram tracks causing the Metrolink driver to stop and wait before the vehicles clear the tracks.
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating to see footage like this. Not only are drivers risking their own safety but they’re also risking the safety of everyone on the tram. Seeing near misses involving trams and cars when there are clear safety measures in place is unacceptable and the footage taken from just outside Piccadilly Undercroft on London Road is alarming. “As obvious as this might seem, a tram is unable to swerve out of the way of a car. All it can do is hit its brakes hard to avoid a collision, so we are hoping this film will act as a warning to drivers to think outside the box and help us keep the Metrolink network moving. Blocking tram lines can cause delays to services, impact on the whole tram network and ultimately, causes inconvenience to passengers. At the end of the day all of these situations are preventable.”
The warning issue this week was not just in connection with this yellow box junction but was aimed at all motorists who drive around the streets of Greater Manchester. The press release also came with a reminder of just what the Highway Code states as it would appear from the video footage there are a lot of people who don’t remember! Probably the most concerning aspect of the footage is that included in the vehicles blocking the junction is a bus.
The video footage can be viewed at https://youtu.be/hujuNkzms8c.