Updated: Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 @ 5:30pm

Government's £20million grant helps to ‘realise vision’ for Greater Manchester’s cycling revolution

Government's £20million grant helps to ‘realise vision’ for Greater Manchester’s cycling revolution

By John McDougall & Steven Brown

London 2012’s cycling legacy and successive British Tour de France triumphs will be built on in Manchester after £20million worth of government investment was announced for the city.  

The Cycle City Ambition Grant will see Manchester benefit more than anywhere else in the UK in a £77million government package to inspire the next Sir Bradley Wiggins or Chris Froome. 

And after more than 8,000 signatures backed an online bid, it is hoped the money will go towards Velocity 2025 which aims to increase Greater Manchester cycling numbers by 300%.

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “With the success of our bid, we will be able to turn our ambition into action and realise our vision for 2025 in full.

“This funding award signals the confidence that Government has in that vision. On top of what we’ve already started and what we can now unlock locally, we will completely transform cycling in Greater Manchester.”

The money will help to provide segregated and dedicated continental-style cycle routes to employment and education sites across Greater Manchester.

These are called ‘spokes’ and will separate bikes from other traffic, both improving cyclist’s safety and that of other road users.

‘Cycle and Ride’ points are also in the pipeline for Gatley, Irlam, Flixton andGuideBridgerailway stations and at Prestwich, Hollinwood and East Didsbury Metrolink stops.

With Manchester being the home of British Cycling, policy advisor Chris Boardman MBE feels the city has inspired many and wants the success to filter down to the public.

“Manchester has played a huge part in the success that our organisation has enjoyed in recent years in both increasing participation and medal winning performances,” he said.

“What we now need is for that success to filter down and make cycling a sustainable and attractive form of transport in our cities through introducing a robust cycle proofing process into all modern transport developments.

“This funding sets Greater Manchester apart and can go a long way to making that happen. British Cycling is committed to supporting Velocity 2025 to achieving its aims and further establishingManchesteras a world class venue for cycling.”

Councillor Matthew Colledge, transport lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, echoed councillor Fender’s comments and hopes it will have a real impact across the conurbation.

“This is a fantastic endorsement of the vision we have for cycling in Greater Manchester,” he said.

“This announcement means Velocity 2025 – our vision for making Greater Manchester the most prominent British region for cycling facilities, infrastructure and education outside London – can now become a reality.

“That means an integrated and strategic network of high-quality cycle routes having pride of place in Greater Manchester’s transport network, providing sustainable, healthy and ‘green’ connections.”

Greater Manchester Liberal Democrat MPs welcomed today’s announcement.

Lib Dem MP John Leech said: “This is great news. Much credit should go to Lib Dem cycling Minister Norman Baker. We lobbied him hard and he has delivered for Greater Manchester.”

 

Prime Minister David Cameron told press: “Following our success in the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Tour de France, British cycling is riding high – now we want to see cycling soar.

 

 

 

 

“The Government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and businesses, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.”

 

Picture courtesy of Professor Cooper, via flickr, with thanks.

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