Transport bosses are celebrating success as cycling in Greater Manchester is given a £20 million boost as part of a national bid to get more people on bikes.
Approval of the investment, the largest award from the Government’s Cycle City Ambition Grant, comes as Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is already investing more than £50 million in a series of measures to improve transport choices, including cycling.
TfGM is spearheading the region’s cycling ambition and has partnered with the districts and key cycling organisations, such as Manchester-based British Cycling, Sustrans and the CTC, to set out a 12-year vision for transforming levels of cycling and increasing the number of people on bikes by 300 per cent.
Nearly 8,000 people backed the bid to the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant in an online poll, demonstrating the community’s support for the proposals.
Chair of the TfGM Committee, Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “With the success of our bid, we will be able to turn our ambition into action and realise our vision for 2025 in full.
“This funding award signals the confidence that Government has in that vision. On top of what we’ve already started and what we can now unlock locally, we will completely transform cycling in Greater Manchester.”
Chris Boardman MBE, British Cycling’s Policy Advisor, said: “As the home of British Cycling, Manchester has played a huge part in the success that our organisation has enjoyed in recent years in both increasing participation and medal winning performances. What we now need is for that success to filter down and make cycling a sustainable and attractive form of transport in our cities through introducing a robust cycle proofing process into all modern transport developments.
“This funding sets Greater Manchester apart and can go a long way to making that happen. British Cycling is committed to supporting Velocity 2025 to achieving its aims and further establishing Manchester as a world class venue for cycling.”
The immediate release of the £20 million grant means work can start on delivering specific projects over the next two years.
Projects now possible:
• A major new network of strategic, integrated and – where possible – segregated cycle routes to employment centres, schools and leisure facilities.
• Locally funded work to ‘mainstream’ cycling – promoting it to young and old to create a cultural shift in attitudes.
• ‘Cycle and Ride’ stations will be developed 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 so as to encourage cycling as a travel option for younger people.
Councillor Matthew Colledge, Transport Lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), said: “This is a fantastic endorsement of the vision we have for cycling in Greater Manchester.
“This announcement means Velocity 2025 – our vision for making Greater Manchester the most prominent British region for cycling facilities, infrastructure and education outside London – can now become a reality.
“That means an integrated and strategic network of high-quality cycle routes having pride of place in Greater Manchester’s transport network, providing sustainable, healthy and ‘green’ connections to employment centres, schools and leisure opportunities.”
Greater Manchester authorities are currently investing more than £50 million in a series of schemes to encourage people to make more sustainable transport choices for their commute, including cycling.
Measures have included one-to-one road skills tuition for cycling commuters and new, super-secure parking for bikes at key locations in Cycle Hubs.
The Velocity 2025 cycling strategy aims to double the number of daily cyclists by 2015 – and then double it again by 2025. Greater Manchester’s vision is for up to 10% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2025.
Beyond this two-year grant, TfGM and the district councils are committed to continue to deliver the Velocity 2025 strategy by rolling out further major investment in cycling across Greater Manchester over the following 10 years.
Velocity 2025 and the bid
Key to Greater Manchester’s Velocity 2025 plan is a series of high quality cycle routes, called ‘spokes’ which will, wherever possible, be segregated from other traffic.
The bid set out our initial proposals for this network of spokes, these being:
• Prestwich ‘City View’ Cycleway will link Manchester City Centre from Prestwich and Heaton Park through Crumpsall and Irk Valley. A link to Alan Turing Way will feed into a traffic free orbital cycle route.
• Ashton Canal Cycleway will be an off-highway route from Ashton to Manchester City Centre with links into Ashton town centre, Guide Bridge railway station and the National Cycling Centre.
• Mersey Valley & Stockport Cycleway will see a fully segregated cycle track linking Cheadle to the Corridor Super Cycleway and into Stockport Town Centre.
• Corridor SuperCycleway will be an improved on-highway, and largely segregated, cycle route from Wilmslow Road to East Didsbury with further links to the Trans Pennine Trail and Mersey Valley cycle paths.
• Airport City Enterprise Cycleway will be a new series of improved cycle links at Manchester Airport, adjacent to residential areas with links to Wythenshawe Hospital and the town centre.
• Bridgewater Cycleway will complete the final 4km of cycle route from Bridgewater Canal Towpath into Manchester City Centre. A link to Salford Quays will also be provided.
• MediaCity and Quays Cycleway will expand cycle routes to better link the Lower Broughton area via Salford University to MediaCityUK and Salford Quays.
All of this will be alongside an ambitious programme of cycling promotion and education inspired by the success achieved in northern Europe and augmented by strong partnerships with organisations such as British Cycling, Sustrans and CTC.