Commuters in Greater Manchester are being urged to ditch four wheels in favour of two this Thursday as part of a nationwide initiative.
Cycle to Work Day is a national event, championed by multi gold medal winning Paralympic cyclist, Dame Sarah Storey, which aims to encourage everyone to cycle to work for just one day on 12 September 2013.
Launched by Cyclescheme and supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), British Cycling, Sustrans, Bicycle Association and Business in the Community, Cycle to Work Day aims to highlight the benefits of cycling as a means of transport and encourage more people to cycle, more often.
The date supports work already in place to make cycling safer and easier in Greater Manchester. In August this year, TfGM was awarded £20 million national funding from the Cycle City Ambition Grant to support the 12-year cycling strategy Vélocity 2025.
As part of this strategy TfGM, along with key cycling organisations, such as Manchester-based British Cycling, Sustrans and the CTC, have set out a 12-year vision for transforming levels of cycling.
Over the next two years through to 2015, the funding will be used to:
- Deliver a major new network of strategic, integrated and – where possible – segregated cycle routes to employment centres, schools and leisure facilities.
- Develop ‘Cycle and Ride’ stations for Gatley, Irlam, Flixton and Guide Bridge railway stations and at Prestwich, Hollinwood and East Didsbury Metrolink stops.
- Work with a number of partner schools and colleges to improve cycle facilities to help encourage cycling as a travel choice for younger people.
- Roll out an ambitious programme of cycling promotion and education inspired by other European cities.
Councillor Chris Paul, Transport for Greater Manchester Committee’s Cycling Champion, said: “We are fully supportive of National Cycle to Work Day which supports our plans under Vélocity 2025 to boost the number of cyclists in Greater Manchester by 300 per cent over the next 12 years.
“Greater Manchester is the home of British Cycling and our ambitious plans aim to make that association not just a matter of geography but of a shared philosophy – a culture of cycling.
“That is why we are leading a major investment in cycling, on a scale never before seen in Greater Manchester, the benefits of which – a healthier, fitter, greener and more active and sustainable society – will last for generations.”
Dame Sarah Storey said: “If we start by encouraging people to cycle to work, then they’ll feel healthier, will save money and be more inclined to ride their bikes for other journeys and leisure time too.
“Cycling is one of the best modes of transport for local journeys and Cyclescheme provides the means for people to obtain a bike in order to make those journeys to work. We hope to inspire even more people to challenge themselves, dust off the bike and cycle to work on 12 September.”
Daniel Gillborn, Director of Cyclescheme, said: “Cycle to Work Day is a very exciting initiative for us and it’s great to be able to work with some of the greatest names in the bike industry.
“We hope the day will inspire as many people as possible to make a positive change to their commuting habits and get more people cycling more often. Every mile cycled, every calorie burnt and every kilogram of CO2 offset as a result of the day will be a massive achievement that we can all be proud of.”
For more information on how to get involved please visit www.cycletoworkday.org