£3.1m schemes to enable thousands more cycling and walking journeys in Greater Manchester

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has allocated the first phase of its emergency active travel grant to prioritise the implementation of emergency protected routes.

An initial £3.1 million will be provided to deliver the first phase of schemes across Greater Manchester to provide safe travel options for people without cars and take pressure off the public transport system.

Expected by October, the first phase, called Tranche one, will include pop-up cycle lanes to give people safe and direct routes to key destinations within their strict, such as Chorley New Road in Bolton, and several routes in Salford. Key corridor routes are also being put in place to support commuter journeys including Bury A56, Tameside A635 and in Stockport, a route parallel to the A6.

Local measures will include the implementation of modal filters and ‘quiet streets’ which prioritise people over cars on residential streets to create safe neighbourhoods and provide areas for those without access to outdoor space.

Local authorities also launched the #SafeStreetsSaveLives campaign to support social distancing during the lockdown and recovery, with £5 million of emergency funding made available through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund (MCF).

“Greater Manchester has set out bold plans to create more space for cycling and walking across our city region and we’re pleased the Government has backed our ambitions,” said Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burham. “These measures will help people in every borough of Greater Manchester to take advantage of safer, healthier alternatives to public transport and the car while social distancing remains in place. The political consensus around prioritising active travel is becoming stronger by the day and this is emerging as one area where Greater Manchester and the whole country is set to build back better.”

At the start of July, the UK’s first CYCLOPS (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) junction was launched in Hulme, South Manchester, separating pedestrians and cyclists from traffic to reduce the potential for collisions or conflict.

The development of a Greater Manchester bike hire scheme also reached a significant milestone at the start of the month as TfGM launched its search for a service provider to deliver the scheme. The £10 million scheme, which is being funded by the MCF, is planned to launch in Spring 2021.

“This emergency funding has empowered Greater Manchester leaders to take immediate action and provide safe travel options for their residents to get to and from key areas,” added Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester. “By creating temporary space for people to cycle and walk along major protected routes, local authorities can support those who want to do their bit to help save public transport for people that need it the most. This will also ensure that the tired of Greater Manchester households who don’t have access to a car are not denied the right to safe travel options.

“These are big changes to make and I commend the local authorities for mobilising so quickly and showing bravery and commitment in reallocating space. Their actions will truly make a difference to social inclusion during this emergency situation and make sure everyone has access to safe travel.”

A list of the Safe Streets Save Lives tranche one schemes are listed on TfGM’s website.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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