Smooth cycling: Manchester MPs praise £40million road improvements to create safer bike-friendly city

By John McDougall

Cyclists across Manchester will soon have safer journeys after £40million of government funding was pledged to improve bicycle routes and road junctions.

Due to be implemented within 12 months, 100 advanced stop lines and 50 blind spot ‘Trixi’ mirrors will be installed across Greater Manchester to help reduce cyclist casualties.

The Wilmslow Road/Wilbraham Road junction will receive £200,000 investment, with Withington’s Liberal Democrat MP John Leech believing this will help make the city more cycle-friendly.

“Road safety is so vital in Manchester for cyclists and other road users,” he said. “I’m delighted the government are taking action to improve road safety for all.

“It is absolutely essential people should be able to cycle to work or school in a safe environment.

“Not only is cycling healthy and enjoyable but by getting more people out of their cars and on their bikes, we can ease congestion too and strengthen our local economy.”

Withington itself will receive £600,000 worth of funding, with Manchester being one of 78 locations across the UK to experience improved road design and layout.

Mr Leech’s comments have been echoed by Councillor Simon Wheale, who feels the investment will have real benefits for those travelling to and from the city centre.   

“I’m glad we are finally seeing an investment that will mean thousands can travel to and from town safely,” said Cllr Wheale.

“The Wilmslow Road/Wilbraham Road junction is one of the main routes into town for Withington and Fallowfield residents and a very dangerous junction.”

In the aftermath of London 2012, cycling infrastructure across the country has seen a £107million investment to get the nation onto two wheels.

The City Tower Cycle Hub recently opened in Piccadilly Gardens as part of more than ten such facilities planned for across Greater Manchester.

Manchester Central’s Labour MP Lucy Powell feels facilities like these have been warmly embraced by both cyclists and the city as a whole.   

“Manchester is the home of British cycling and anything that helps get people out of their cars and on their bikes is good for the environment and a sustainable future,” she said.

“We had a fantastic summer of British cycling and sport last year and it is vital the Government delivers the Olympic legacy they promised to people in Manchester and beyond.”

Picture courtesy of Professor Cooper, with thanks.

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