Greater Manchester’s Bee Network plan to deliver the “UK’s first” joined-up cycling and walking network is set to be boosted by almost £12 million worth of new cycling and walking routes.
On 30th October, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) approved £11.8 million of the Mayor’s Challenge Fund to progress five cycling and walking schemes in Manchester, Salford and Stockport.
This funding will see these fully-designed cycling and walking proposals delivered on the ground, with construction on the first schemes expected to start before the end of the calendar year. These schemes take the total number of fully approved Mayor’s Challenge Fund packages to 15, with a committed delivery value of £31.7 million.
The latest approvals come after cycling and walking commissioner Chris Boardman announced that around 55 miles of high-quality cycling and walking schemes will be on the ground across Greater Manchester by the end of 2021.
“During the lockdown, while a huge number of people took to their bikes and enjoyed the quieter roads, GM’s councils were working hard behind the scenes to get their cycling and walking proposals ready for delivery,” said Boardman. “These five schemes signify further progress on our commitment to providing safe spaces for the people of Greater Manchester, enabling them to rethink how they make their journeys.
“Many significant schemes will be completed during 2021 and these latest additions will add even more mileage to our Bee Network, enabling an ever-increasing number of Greater Manchester residents to leave the car at home if they choose.”
The latest approved schemes are:
1. Manchester to Chorlton (area two): The next area of the high-quality cycling and walking route, running from Chorlton to Manchester city centre, which is being delivered in phases. Area two, which runs along Upper Chorlton Road from Brooks Bar to the junction with Seymour Grove, will provide approximately 1.3 kilometres of the overall 5-kilometre scheme length and will provide protected cycle lanes throughout, alongside improvements to lighting and pedestrian access. Manchester City Council aims to complete construction of this part of the route by summer 2021. MCF funding requirement – £2.2 million.
Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, planning and transport, councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “We welcome this funding confirmation and will continue to work with residents and local businesses to ensure that the Manchester to Chorlton cycling and walking route delivers significant long-term benefits for the community. With its iconic CYCLOPS junction, this ambitious scheme is an important symbol of our ambition to support more people to regularly choose active travel options for their journeys, instead of the car.
“With more schemes in the pipeline, we are fully committed to continuing the process of consulting on and constructing new permanent cycling and walking infrastructure to serve residents across the city. We’ll continue to work with Transport for Greater Manchester to ensure that all of our walking and cycling projects are ‘shovel-ready’ by the end of this year and are delivered on time for our communities.”
2. Salford Swinton Greenway: The spine of the route follows a former railway line and the full route runs between Monton Road in Monton (to the south) and the A6 Manchester Road in Swinton (to the north), with several connecting links to local schools, colleges and the wider communities that live and work along the route. Swinton Greenway is 7.2 kilometres in length, of which 5.7 kilometres is off-road and 1.5 kilometres on road. Improvements along the route include significant lengths of widening, surfacing and access improvements, enhanced lighting as well as planting and landscaping improvements. MCF funding requirement – £4.7 million.
3. Stockport to Offerton: This scheme will provide a series of local walking and cycling improvements, including to four crossings and an upgrade to an existing off-road path in the neighbourhoods which lie between Offerton and Stockport town centre. The scheme will reduce severance which currently restricts the accessibility to those who would like to travel into Stockport town centre on foot or by cycling, and as a package forms an attractive alternative to busy roads. MCF funding requirement – £2.2 million.
4. Stockport Crossings Package: This scheme will reduce the severance impacts created by busy roads within neighbourhoods close to Cheadle Hulme by providing three new crossings for people travelling on foot or on bikes. These will be the amongst the first “parallel signalised” crossings to be installed in the UK, a new type of crossing which avoids the need for pedestrians and cyclists to share the same space, with two to be provided on Councillor Lane and a third on Bird Hall Road, as well as complementary measures and reduced speed limits in adjacent residential areas. The crossings will allow better active travel access to the popular Ladybrook Valley route. MCF funding requirement – £1.3 million.
5. Stockport A6 MARR Links: This scheme will improve walking and cycling connections between the A6 MARR (A555) multi-user path and its neighbouring communities, with the result of making the multi-user path easier to access and use. Three individual ‘links’ are included in the scheme, which are the Stanley Green roundabout in Cheadle Hulme, Woodford Recreation Ground, and Macclesfield Road near Hazel Grove. Each link will improve the cycle and walking permeability of the area it serves and will contribute to a more accessible active travel network, improving how the A6 MARR multi-user path integrates into Stockport. MCF funding requirement – £1.4 million.
Councillor David Meller, cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “Helping deliver clean and public transport is a key priority of mine and our determination to support walking and cycling is at the heart of delivering this priority. These schemes show our ambition to make Stockport a leading borough for walking and cycling within Greater Manchester.
“We have £27.5 million worth of schemes as part of the Mayoral Challenge Fund in the pipeline – one of the highest in Greater Manchester – but our ambition doesn’t stop here, as our plans for the A34 also show. We will continue to work with all residents to deliver schemes as part of the Bee Network that can have long-term benefits for everyone: from cleaner air to improved road safety and less congestion.”
These schemes will be part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network, an 1,800 mile joined up cycling and walking network across the city-region. So far, 82 schemes from the 10 GM local authorities and TfGM are in the development pipeline for the Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF), with a total value of £493 million – around a third of the total forecast cost of £1.5 billion required to deliver the Bee Network as a whole across Greater Manchester over the next ten years.
Read the November issue of BikeBiz below: