Updated: Tuesday, 23rd October 2018 @ 5:08pm

Manchester goes for a bite of the Big Apple: City asks New York for cycling secret to get people pedalling

Manchester goes for a bite of the Big Apple: City asks New York for cycling secret to get people pedalling

By Alan Ross

In a bid to get more people pedalling Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are looking across the pond and picking the brains of New York’s transport department.

Over the last five years The Big Apple has seen a two-fold increase in bike usage in the city thanks to the installation of hundreds of miles of bike lanes and a bike rental scheme called CitiBike.

Manchester received £20million from the government in August to fund its Velocity initiative and TfGM’s Nick Vaughn said he hoped that they could mirror New York’s success.

“Through our Vélocity 2025 plans we aim to boost the number of cyclists in Greater Manchester by 300 per cent over the next 12 years,” he said in a statement.

“We’re the home of British Cycling and we want to learn from and repeat the success of cycling cities across the globe so I look forward to learning from New York City’s experience.”

Velocity 2025 includes plans to build a network of seven cycling paths, totalling 57km, spreading out from the city centre into the surrounding suburbs.

Gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman, who is now a policy advisor to British Cycling, welcomed the meeting and said many cities need to focus on cycling.

“New York City took the decision to prioritise cycling five years ago and the results are plain to see,” said Boardman.

“Thanks to big ambitions, political leadership and investment, the city has doubled bike use and plans to triple it within the next four years.

“There is a lot that cities like Manchester and London can learn from New York – that’s why it is crucial that we listen with open ears about the possibilities for how we can transform Britain into a cycling nation.”

Kate Fillin-Yeh from New York City’s transport department said learning from other examples of cycling schemes helps to improve new ones.

"Cities around the world are meeting public demand for better places to bicycle by learning, borrowing and adapting each other's successes,” she said.

“That's why exchanges like todays are hugely valuable.

"CitiBike is so successful today in part because it drew on the best features of Velib, Boris Bikes and other systems. Now CitiBike stands as the latest example for others to study.”

Image courtesy of Maria & MIchal P, with thanks

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