Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has been awarded a grant of £1million from The London Marathon Charitable Trust to support its ambition to get more people walking and cycling.
TfGM said it will put the money towards supporting around 10,000 people in up to 60 communities across Greater Manchester to get active and travel sustainably, with a particular emphasis on women, children and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups.
Research shows that 69% of frequent cyclists in Britain are men, compared to countries like Denmark where the picture is reversed (female cyclists make up 53% of the total and male cyclists 47%).
A recent report also showed that 74% of people from ethnic minority groups living in 12 cities and towns across the UK do not currently cycle. Despite low participation levels, the report found 55% of people from ethnic minority groups who do not currently cycle would like to start.
TfGM research has also shown that 55% of Greater Manchester residents want to become more physically active, and 70% would like to walk or cycle more but don’t feel safe or confident enough to.
The project will aim to:
- Get 10,000 inactive people more active through walking and cycling, via the development of an Active Travel Community Toolkit. The Toolkit which will include a range of resources will allow communities to choose a combination of support that will help them travel more actively;
- Train up to 60 Community Travel Champions to provide knowledge and a focus for active travel in their communities;
- Engage and empower around 60 local communities to identify and make positive changes to active travel facilities in their local areas.
The project will run for three years from September 2020 through to September 2023.
Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “This money will enable us to reach out to thousands more people across Greater Manchester, enabling them to fit walking and cycling into their daily lives and to enjoy the many benefits that go alongside it.
“Alongside temporary infrastructure in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are building the UK’s largest cycling and walking network. The Bee Network will deliver more than 1,800 miles of routes, linking every area of Greater Manchester. Inspiring people to walk or cycle for everyday journeys is a huge part of the puzzle and we are incredibly grateful to The London Marathon Charitable Trust for supporting us to make this a reality.”
Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “In 2020, more than ever, we have learnt how important it is to be physically fit and active. By awarding this grant to Transport for Greater Manchester we hope that thousands of people who, for whatever reason, have not been able to exercise regularly will now be able to build physical acitivity into their daily routine.
“The London Marathon Charitable Trust created the Strategic Partnerships Programme in 2018 to support big regional projects that will inspire activity and challenge the inequality of access to sport and physical activity for children, young people, women and girls, disadvantaged communities and those with disabilities. This project in Greater Manchester does all of that.”