A further 24 miles of permanent walking and cycling routes will be delivered across Greater Manchester using £15.97 million from the government’s Active Travel fund (formerly the Emergency Active Travel Fund), Transport for Greater Manchester announced today.
The funding will see 25 schemes delivered across all 10 councils to provide safe travel options for the third of GM residents who do not have access to a car. This second phase of routes will build on the initial £3.1m government funding, awarded to Greater Manchester in July 2020, which is already delivering 25 miles of pop up cycling and walking routes into town centres and the regional centre, as well as two pop up active neighbourhoods. In addition, Greater Manchester has already committed to delivering 55 miles of permanent, high quality cycling and walking routes by December 2021.
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The first round of government funding back in July gave us the chance to trial cycling and walking routes, a try-before-you-buy experience. This latest funding will not only allow us to continue to do that, but to deliver permanent measures that will enable people to make the change long term, intrinsically linked to our plans to deliver the Bee Network – the UK’s largest cycling and walking network. We will be consulting and engaging extensively with residents to ensure we get the locations right and let them tell us where routes are needed the most.
“By giving more people the choice to walk or ride to shops and school for those shorter local journeys, we can change travel habits for good, improve our health, clean up the air and, ultimately, make us happier. The award also shows the confidence government has in the people of Greater Manchester to lead the way in creating an example for the rest of the UK, something everyone in GM should be very proud of.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “This latest round of funding will not only support our long-term recovery from the pandemic, it will reduce congestion and air pollution on our roads, making our streets nicer places to be on foot and by bike, and moving us a step closer to a truly integrated transport system.
“I must champion the tireless efforts of our local authorities to develop and now deliver these schemes. It’s a huge vote of confidence that national government gave us more money than we originally asked for. They clearly see great value in our ambitious plans to make Greater Manchester a true cycling and walking region.”
A GM-wide package of measures to transform the school run from congested roads, poor air quality and inconsiderate parking will also be delivered over the next 12 months. Further details will be announced shortly.
Councils across Greater Manchester are now working hard to complete the five-point plan set out by the Department for Transport in order for funds to be released. This includes a public consultation on every scheme, reflecting the potential for the routes and active neighbourhoods to become permanent.
The plans align with the city region’s vision for a 1,800 mile long Bee Network; underpinning Greater Manchester’s long-term ambition to be a world class cycling and walking city-region. The measures, alongside the GM bike hire scheme, will enable hundreds of thousands of additional cycling and walking journeys across the city region.
A new map has also been published today, showcasing the city-region’s 12-month priority cycling and walking schemes. This includes the Active Travel Fund walking and cycling routes, as well as the Bee Network routes and active neighbourhoods that will be delivered by December 2021.