Updated: Tuesday, 23rd October 2018 @ 1:29pm

On yer bike: Row erupts as Manchester University move to block sale of coffee from bicycle on Oxford Road Corridor

On yer bike: Row erupts as Manchester University move to block sale of coffee from bicycle on Oxford Road Corridor

By Kenny Lomas

An ethically-sourced coffee retailer selling by bicycle in Manchester could be banned from selling along the Oxford Road Corridor – yet the former student is asking the university to 'wake up and smell the coffee'.

Coffee Cranks Cooperative plan to sell ethically sourced tea, coffee and snacks from a purpose built cargo bike around the city.

One of the locations Coffee Cranks Coop want to trade from is Dover Street, just off the Oxford Road Corridor, in the heart of the university area. Yet the University of Manchester have taken issue with their former student's plans.

Coffee Cranks Cooperative’s director and secretary Zygmunt Wysocki, 31, graduated from the University of Manchester in 2009, after studying a postgraduate degree in gender, sexuality and culture.

Zygmunt, or Zym as he is commonly known, feels that the objections are unjust.

“If you take a closer look, there’s no merit or reason for us not to be there. I think it’s hugely unfair on us to be challenged like that,” Zym told MM.

“Us being so small, there’s literally only three of us, and none us are getting paid yet so it’s a bit of a let-down.”

Despite his frustrations, Zym says the resistance hasn’t come as a total surprise. He said: “To be honest we expected this to happen. They’re a big business and, they won’t admit this, but I believe they want to have control over the area.

“I think they just made a defaulted response without actually giving any consideration to who we are or what we actually do, and what our values are.”

Coffee Cranks Coop launched the petition over the weekend, and has so far seen a positive just over 550 signitures, according to Zym.

The petition is addressed to the University of Manchester’s director of estates and facilities Diana Hampson, and Claire Lowe, a board member of Corridor Manchester.

Both organisations have raised formal objections to Salford Council regarding the application.

The petition reads: “Dear Diana Hampson (University of Manchester) and Clare Lowe (Corridor Manchester), we implore you to withdraw your objections to Coffee Cranks Coop's trading licence application in the interest of sustainable and environmental development in the city of Manchester.”

The University’s official response to the application, which can be read in full here, cites congestion and safety issues as the main reason to object.

The response read: “The University believes that granting the licence would create real safety concerns, be detrimental to its ambitions and, as the contribution to the City’s economy and vibrancy though the success of the University cannot be overstated, we hope that the City Council would reject the application.”

MM approached the University of Manchester for a response to the petition, but they declined to comment until Manchester City Council meet to discuss the issue next month.

The petition is here.

Picture courtesy of Zym from Coffee Cranks Cooperative, with thanks.

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