Greater Manchester is to create 55 miles of new cycle and walking routes and 140 new crossings by the end of next year according to Transport for Greater Manchester.
Mayor Andy Burnham and Commissioner Chris Boardman announced the plan which will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. This will mean all of Greater Manchester’s 10 districts will begin to benefit from new routes, also known as beeways, with the first Bee Network signage expected to be installed in Summer 2021.
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said: “It’s been years in the making, but GM’s cycling and walking revolution is finally starting. To build the capability and scheme pipeline to deliver a new way of travel for a whole city region has taken us two years, but we are now ready to begin delivery. By next summer we will begin to see the fruits of our labour and the region’s residents will finally have the chance to travel to shops and schools easily and safely without using a car. Today heralds the real start of our cycling and walking story, coincidentally aligning with bike to school week.
“Next year is going to be incredibly exciting with spades going in the ground. This is a huge step towards making Greater Manchester a true cycling and walking city-region. Projects like the Chorlton beeway and Bolton’s new junctions are world-class and they are going to open up cycling and walking as a new option for hundreds of thousands of people. Greater Manchester residents have told us that they want safe space to travel on foot and by bike, so this is exactly what we are delivering.”
Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “We started this mission nearly two years ago and I’m so pleased with the significant work GM’s local authorities have been doing behind the scenes to get this monumental mission underway.
“The Bee Network was a vision; now, having completed the planning, paperwork and many consultations, we are ready to start making it a reality. It will create better places to live and work, give those with a car the option to leave it at home and for those who don’t, it will provide them with a reliable, safe and pleasant network to walk or ride to shops, schools and workplaces. This is the beginning of Greater Manchester’s twenty first century transport revolution.”
Around 25 miles of pop-up cycling and walking routes will also be delivered by next Spring, as well as two low-traffic neighbourhoods in Salford and Tameside, using government funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Tameside’s pop up active neighbourhood is being launched today.
The news coincides with the publication of an update and forward look report on cycling and walking activities in Greater Manchester which will be officially presented to the Greater Manchester Transport Committee on 9 October.
Completed cycling and walking projects in the last two years include the CYCLOPS junction at Royce Road, the first of its kind in the country, designed by Greater Manchester engineers, as well as schemes in Talbot Road in Trafford, Saddle junction in Wigan and Wigan’s Muddy Mile.