Cycle and Stride launches to inspire ‘active lives’ across Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester has announced the first 10 groups which will form part of its initiative, Cycle and Stride for Active Lives. This exciting initiative will enable and support thousands of people across Greater Manchester to become more active through walking and cycling.

The first participants represent a diverse range of groups, including those supporting older women and children from more disadvantaged communities, refugees, those who have experienced domestic abuse and people with disabilities.

Cycle and Stride will work with the groups to understand their members’ specific needs and the barriers that prevent them from being more active in their daily lives. The team will produce plans which deliver help and solutions to create long term, sustainable changes. This could include a range of support from cycle training and led walks, to training local champions to become walking leaders and offering grants for access to bikes and cycle parking and other facilities.

One of the groups taking part in the initial phase of Cycle and Stride is Salford All Saints Team Ministry, which works closely with people from ethnically diverse and disadvantaged communities including asylum seekers & refugees and older people, within its local communities and parishes.

Reverend Clive Hamilton, who oversees the team said, “We are looking forward to promoting the scheme. Most importantly, whilst offering practical support and advice on alternative forms of safe, cost effective transport, it will be really good to help and involve people in the longer-term health benefits and enjoyment which is available from cycling and walking.“

Friars Primary School in Salford-will also receive support from Cycle and Stride, for both parents and students. Michael Earnshaw, Headteacher, The Friars Primary School said: “The Cycle & Stride project interested us as we hoped it would help us work towards increasing local confidence in getting out and about in a major urban area. We’re looking forward to providing parents and children the skills and confidence to use their local area more and provide the community with increased opportunities to cycle”.

TfGM’s Programme Lead Susannah Gyton-Moon said, “Cycling and walking are for everyone and this programme is a real opportunity to make sure that everyone has the ability and support they need to get active, in a way that works for them. This programme provides invaluable opportunities to understand barriers and work with communities across the city-region to make real, valuable changes.”

Made possible by a £1 million grant from The London Marathon Charitable Trust, the three-year programme seeks to reach 10,000 people across communities that are least likely to be active or to walk or cycle their journeys. A further 10 groups will be added to the programme over the coming 12 months, with an eventual 60 community groups being supported, covering all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner said: “We have been overwhelmed by the first round of applications received, which shows us that there’s an appetite in our local communities to enable more people to travel by foot and by bike. We know that cycling and walking provide a range of individual benefits, whether that’s improving health and fitness, catching up with a friend or having the confidence and freedom to get to where you want to be, without a car.

“Plans are moving at pace to turn Greater Manchester into a true walking and cycling city-region and this programme will help deliver real behaviour change that will get us to our target of one million more sustainable journeys taken daily by 2040.”

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