Cyclists are set to benefit from a further £22 million of funding that will see the development of key routes and a more cycle friendly city centre as part of Greater Manchester’s Cycle City programme.
Councillors have welcomed the recent grant of £22 million to Transport for Greater Manchester from the second round of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Cycle City Ambition Grants, which is in addition to the £20 million GM already received during the first round of Cycle City funding in 2013. The funding will go towards developing the existing programme of improvements for cyclists in Greater Manchester over the next three years.
The successful bid will be used to expand on the work already undertaken during the first phase of the Cycle City programme, and will see over 45km of new or improved cycle routes being developed. This will be in addition to around 60km of largely segregated cycle routes currently being delivered as part of the first phase of Cycle City work, creating a substantial cycle route network linking local communities by 2018.
The £22 million will also be used to make significant improvements to infrastructure in the city centre and introduce four new Cycle Friendly District Centres across Greater Manchester, which will include improvements to cycle parking and local routes. The proposed centres are Cheadle Hulme, Radcliffe, Oldham and Wigan. There are also plans to increase the number of cycle and ride stations and key transport interchanges to encourage cycling as part of longer journeys.
Schools and colleges across Greater Manchester will also benefit as the money will go towards developing TfGM’s Better By Cycle Schools programme, which sees cycling improvements made in and around a number of educational establishments.
City centre councillor and cyclist Kevin Peel said:
"The first tranche of funding is delivering improvements to routes into the city centre along the canals and the Oxford Road corridor, but once you get here you're on your own. Existing advisory cycle lanes start and stop at random with no logical connections, junctions are dangerous and road surfaces aren't always up to scratch.
"We've been very clear since the new funding was announced that we want to see significant improvements to infrastructure around and through the city centre and we've been assured this will be the case. We'll be meeting with officers very soon to start early work on the proposals."