Updated: Tuesday, 4th August 2020 @ 7:52pm

Make way for cycling, say Mancunians in Sustrans Bike Life report as Boardman prepares investment bid

Make way for cycling, say Mancunians in Sustrans Bike Life report as Boardman prepares investment bid

| By Adam Wareing

Mancunians want more protected bike routes even if it means taking space away from other road users, a report revealed last week.

The bi-annually commissioned Bike Life report by Sustrans surveyed 1,100 Greater Manchester residents and discovered that 78% supported building more protected bike lanes.

Only 27% believed cycling safety in Manchester is ‘good’, raising concerns that more must be done to protect the city’s most economically efficient travellers and persuade more people to get on their bikes.

The study also showed that the economic benefit of cycling to Greater Manchester is £70m every year.

Chris Boardman (above right), Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, told MM that findings from the Bike Life study will be used in his report to persuade council chiefs to back cycling investment.  

He said: “Andy (Burnham, GM mayor) asked me to produce a report for him and that’s on his desks now.

“It’s 15 steps that if you genuinely want to get people out of cars, these are the things you must do.

“These are non-negotiable and evidence based.”

The Olympic gold medallist would not disclose the cost of his plans but was keen to place a time frame on their developments.

“If they give me the nod at the next combined authority meeting, then by the end of next year I will have drawn up the strategy to deliver this and how to find the money to do it. 

“I’ve told them what the bill will be if they want to do this, and then we’ll go away and find it,” he continued.

POSITIVITY: Chris Boardman and Sustrans Director for England (North) Rosslyn Colderley (fourth from right) are leading the charge to make Manchester a cycling-friendly city

“Privately there are discussions that have already started and people are really positive, and when the wheel is there, you look for solutions and not problems.”

Rosslyn Colderley (main picture, left), Sustrans Director for England (North), emphasised the purpose of producing such an in-depth study.

“The whole purpose of it is to create the evidence base for everybody in Greater Manchester to build the case for more cycling.

“It’s free for everyone to use and we’re really keen for anybody to use it.”

MULTIPLE GAINS: 1992 Barcelona Olympics individual pursuit champion Boardman tells his audience how cycling is worth £70million to Manchester's economy every year

The report comes 25 months after the opening of the Oxford Road - Wilmslow Road cycle route that protected 5,000 cyclists every day in 2016.

You can download the full Greater Manchester Bike Life report at https://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/bike-life-greater-manchester-2017-report.pdf

Images courtesy of Chris Foster/Sustrans, with thanks.