To mark an upcoming festival of sport, a new walking and cycling route linking Offerton to Stockport town centre has been opened for residents to use, says Stockport Council.
The new route, which includes new crossings and avoids busy main roads, is part of Stockport Council’s commitment to improve the borough’s active travel routes through funds granted by the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Challenge fund.
Works were completed in spring on the new route, which will form part of the ‘Bee Network’, GM’s vision for an integrated transport network that includes the largest joined-up system of walking and cycling routes in the UK.
The Offerton to Stockport scheme has included the upgrade and installation of new signal-controlled crossings over Offerton Lane, Hempshaw Lane (at St Thomas’ Rec), St Mary’s Way and Waterloo Road.
The route joins up with recent crossing installations over Banks Lane and Hempshaw Lane (at Lowndes Lane), which were built as part of the council’s recently completed £73million Town Centre Access Plan.
In addition to the new and upgraded crossings, paths in St Thomas’ Rec have also been improved with widening, resurfacing, realignment, new signage, and improved lighting.
Residents will have a golden opportunity to use the new route when StockSport comes to the town on Sunday, June 26.
The event features three different running races – 5k, 10k and First Mile; and an event village featuring mountain bike stunt displays, Muay Thai Boxing displays, Spin Bike challenges, face painting, and free fitness classes.
Cllr Colin Macalister, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “The opening of this new active travel route between Offerton and the town centre is another milestone in our commitment to encourage more of our residents to make more journeys on foot or by bike.
“The new infrastructure links into existing routes and provides a fantastic network that will enable residents to travel from the town centre, via Offerton, through Woodbank Park and onward to Bredbury and Romiley.
“Our teams are working hard to create more active travel routes and I am looking forward to being able to announce our next ‘Bee Network’ project will be complete very soon.”
Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner, said: “Creating safe and accessible routes to walk, wheel and cycle is vital if we want more people to choose to switch an existing vehicle journey to one on foot or bike for their everyday trips.
“The Offerton to Stockport scheme is a perfect example of how to create that space and I’m really pleased to see our world class Bee Network continue to grow. Well-connected cycling and walking routes like this are key to our vision for a fully integrated transport system, where we reduce people’s reliance on cars and create better places to live whilst increasing the footfall that is vital for the growth in our local economy and our high streets.”