My partner and I got the train on Sunday to watch the end of the Womens Tour of Britain. I think you'll agree it was a great event, and quite a coup for your city to host the climax to such an exciting race. A great success. We really enjoyed watching it, but if I may I'd like to suggest a few things that might make future events better.
Firstly, getting to Bury is no fun. We don't drive - we considered cycling but neither my parter or I are as tough as the ladies in the race, and it was hellishly windy, so we got the train over from Cambridge. When we arrived at the station this major event wasn't signposted - at all. In fact signposting from the station to the City Centre is really very ropey. Then there's the crossings, or lack thereof - why do you consider pedestrians less important than every motorist on every single road? Where there are crossings they're very slow, and frequently set back a very long way from roundabouts. It genuinely feels like you're trying to dissuade pedestrians and train passengers from coming.
Then there's how you cater for cycling. Or, rather, how you don't.
Obviously the conclusion of any major road race attracts a lot of roadie cyclists. Great to see that of course, especially so many younger folk. But on arrival its fairly clear that few could find anywhere to store their bikes - the lack of bike locking meant many of them had to find places in the crowd to watch while keeping their bikes with them. Seriously, Bury, you've got to sort out bike locking points - or do you not want cycling trade?
Then there are the roads - lots of high speed junctions in and around the city centre with no cycling provision. Presumably you maintain such low rates of cycling intentionally such that you can then not have to provide anywhere for cyclists to lock up? I recall one very wide roundabout near the railway station where you've got acres of pavement covered in cobblestones - why not have acres of good pedestrian and cyclist routes?
I want to love Bury, its got a lot going for it - but I was surprised by just how many empty shops there are and how awful the roads are for anyone not driving. I won't be going back there for fun any time soon - sorry, but its not a pleasant environment to be in. Its telling that even on a day dedicated to the finest cycling in the world, few of the visitors to your city chose to cycle. We saw very few people daring to cycle near the city centre.
May I suggest that looking through retail and other attractions you've got that your current approach to getting people in and out of the city is demonstrably not working? You need to wise up to the reality that not everyone wants to drive, and that even those who do benefit from the vibrant, varied and exciting environments you get by having more diversity of access and transit?
Just some bloke who's been put off from coming back.