It’s been a while since I’ve been on the Fallowfield Loop. Not really sure why really, particularly as I love old, converted train lines. With the other half and kids away for the weekend, I had the opportunity to make the most of a rather pleasant autumn day, get on the bike and explore.

For those that don’t know, the Fallowfield Loop Line was the site of a train line that was once was part of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway. The purpose of the line was to give the MSLR access to Manchester Central Station, with stations along the route in Reddish, Levenshulme, Fallowfield and Chorlton.

Much of the line closed in 1969 when Central Station closed. It remained derelict until 2001, when work started by the Friends of the Fallowfield Loop to convert it into a cycleway.

Starting in Chorlton, I meandered my way along the route, stopping to take the odd photo or two. The route was fairly quiet, given it was a pretty nice day. The odd family out on their bikes, a few walkers and a few groups of people running.

Rant time though. I do love the Fallowfield Loop, but all the good work is completely let down by the stupid, unnecessary barriers along the whole length of the route. Not only are they incredibly ugly, they significantly restrict accessibility. For what? To stop motorbikes? Do they stop them? I very much doubt it.

I rode along the Bridgewater Way to get to the Fallowfield Loop. On my way, I passed a lady in her senior years shall we say, riding a three-wheeler. It was great to see her out riding, and it’s something that should be massively encouraged. But there’s no way she could have ridden along the Fallowfield Loop, she wouldn’t be able to navigate the multitude of stupid gates.

So, we block access to one of the best traffic-free routes in Manchester because of a perceived danger from motorbikes. Does that really make sense? Of course it doesn’t, and that’s why on the recent Kidical Mass rides, the gates are opened to allow everyone to use it. It should be like this all the time!

Anyway, rant over. If you want to find out more about the Fallowfield Loop or its history, see the links below. Otherwise, enjoy the photos.

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