Six new Manchester cycleways ‘a big step in the right direction’ to become a Cycle City

The first phase of Transport for Greater Manchester’s ambitious £42 million Cycle City investment programme has been completed with the launch of six new cycleways:

  • Airport City Cycleway: connecting Timperley and Manchester Airport
  • Bridgewater Canal Cycleway: canal-side route linking Altrincham, Trafford Park and Manchester city centre
  • Mersey Valley and Stockport Cycleway: connecting Stockport town centre with Cheadle and East Didsbury
  • Ashton Canal Cycleway: canal-side route from Ashton-under-Lyne to Manchester city centre
  • Wilmslow Road Cycleway: connecting Didsbury village and Whitworth Park
  • Broughton Cycleway links Broughton with Manchester city centre

The new cycleways have been designed as an attractive and convenient way to travel by bike, linking communities with town and city centres and areas of employment, education and training.

The Broughton Cycleway has innovative traffic islands and reflective bollards to separate cyclists and traffic along the 2km route, making it the UK’s longest cycleway of its type.

The £20m first phase of the DfT Cycle City programme – of which the cycleways network is a key part – has also seen improved cycle parking and facilities at transport interchanges, railway stations, Metrolink stops, workplaces, and social housing sites; 11 schools benefiting from new cycling facilities and training through the Cycle School and Colleges programme; and training and support for people who would like to cycle more or who are new to cycling.

The second phase – which is now under way – involves a further £22m investment by 2018 in additional new and improved cycle routes, four new cycle-friendly district centres, 10 new schools joining the Cycle Schools and Colleges programme, further improvements to cycle parking and continued cycle training and support.

Nick Brelsford of Sustrans said: “These new cycle routes are a big step in the right direction to help Greater Manchester achieve its aim to make cycling a mainstream everyday form of transport.

“Wilmslow Road and Broughton Cycleway in particular demonstrate different types of high quality cycle design, which although not perfect, could work on a larger scale across the city region.

“We hope to work with TfGM to realise the vision for a healthier city with a consistently high quality cycle network that encourages more people to get out on their bikes.”

So if you’ve been put off cycling in the past and live near one of the cycleways, why not get on your bike and give it a go? You’ll save money, burn 300 calories in half an hour and you might even enjoy it. Just watch out for pedestrians wandering into the bike lines, especially if you cycle through Rusholme.

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