Updated: Tuesday, 25th February 2020 @ 8:29pm

Soap star Martine backs Big Bike Revival to promote cycle safety in Manchester

Soap star Martine backs Big Bike Revival to promote cycle safety in Manchester

| By Lewis Chapman-Barker

The Big Bike Revival was launched in Manchester this week to promote cycling, but promised improvements to the city’s cycle-lanes are yet to begin.

Whilst Transport for Greater Manchester has introduced initiatives to improve the city’s cycle lanes, police have been handing out fines for cyclists caught using the pavement.

Former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon was at the launch of Big Bike Revival in Platt Fields, just off one of Manchester's main cycling corridors.

She said: “I think we all remember how much fun we had on our bikes when we were younger, but I’m sure lots of people will have bikes they’ve not touched for a while."

Also at the launch was TfGM’s Community Cycle Development Officer Anna Smith who said training was key.

“I’m always going to stand up for cyclists and I completely appreciate why people feel intimidated to go on the roads," she said.

"I’ve been cycling for twenty years, and it was only when I did my instructor training for cycling, it was only then that I actually found out where I should be on the road.

“So I recommend cycle training to anyone, as soon as you start adopting those positions cars respond to you a lot nicer, give you more space.”

The Big Bike Revival was launched by ex-Eastenders star Martine McCutcheon, and aims to get people nationwide back on their bikes with a two-week series of family-friendly events nationwide.

The current state of Manchester’s cycle lanes has left some cyclists feeling the need to seek refuge on the pavement, and Manchester Wheelers’ Club’s Holly Carter explained that she could see why.

She told MM: “People are cycling on the pavements because they don’t feel safe on the road, I do sympathise with that. It’s a shame that they don’t feel safe.”

Holly went on to state that it was essential for cyclists that do use the pavement to give way to pedestrians, and not cycle too quickly.

“From my perspective, cyclists should have priority on the road and pedestrians should have priority on the pavement.”

Oxford Road will soon be home to Manchester’s first ‘Dutch-style cycle lanes’, but this may not be enough of an improvement for the city’s cyclists.

Holly added: “What they’re doing is along the right lines, but I would also say to continue it and make sure it is rolled out throughout Manchester.

“Also bring with that a bit more of an awareness, for pedestrians and drivers, of the importance of just being aware of cyclists.”

Zygmunt Wysocki, co-creator of Coffee Cranks, was at today’s launch along with his bike mounted coffee unit.

The 32-year-old is one of the organisers of this year’s World Naked Bike Ride in Manchester, and he spoke of the potential in the planned developments.

“Manchester is a very compact city, a very ‘cyclable’ city, and if only the authorities realised how great it could become and how the potential of the city as a cycling city could thrive. That would be amazing.”