Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has been 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.
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.”
The project will aim to encourage active communities through the development of an Active Travel Community Toolkit. The Toolkit will include a range of resources which allows people to choose a combination of support, such as the training of 60 Community Travel Champions to provide knowledge and focus to other members of the active community.
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 activity into their daily routine”.
Additionally, the project pays specific attention towards women, children and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. Research shows that 69% of frequent cyclists in Britain are men and that 74% of people from ethnic minority groups living in 12 cities and towns across the UK do not currently cycle. Despite the low numbers, the report also found 55% of people from ethnic minority groups who do not currently cycle would like to start.
“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.”, said Walker.
Additional TfGM research showed that 55% of Greater Manchester residents want to become more physically active, and 70% would like to walk or cycle more.
Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner said: “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”.
Any individuals or community groups who want to be involved in the project should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) recently allocated an initial £3.1 million to provide the first phase of schemes in its emergency active travel grant, with the aim of providing safe travel options to communities and to take the pressure off public transport services. The first phase is expected by October.