Greater Manchester will see a major building boom in cycling and walking routes delivered by December 2021 with 55 miles of new routes and 140 new crossings being created.
Funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, the projects planned will total around £85 million. 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.
Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, 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.”
Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, 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.
Earlier this year, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) was awarded a grant of £1 million from The London Marathon Charitable Trust. The money will be used to support around 10,000 people in up to 60 communities across greater Manchester to encourage communities to get active and travel sustainably.