Some major roads in the centre of Manchester are currently being transformed, mostly with tram lines but also with protected cycleways. The £1bn makeover will result in Oxford Road – one of the busiest bus routes in Europe – becoming safer for cyclists. University buildings flank this road, and it has long been a key route for students who cycle.
A number of protected cycleways will pass close to Hillcourt Street Cycles, and owner Paul Flanagan said: “We’re really excited about the plans. The cycleways will be fully protected. Oxford Road is a really busy road."
Stating that students are a mainstay of his business he remarked: “[The cycleways] will be a big help for students. And if the cycleways look anything like the fly-through video [from Transport for Greater Manchester] they will be excellent.
He added: "We need more people on bikes, and less people in cars. Part of this will be accomplished with the trams that are transforming Manchester right now, and it’s only fair that bikes get a look in, too.”
Hillcourt Street Cycles is situated on the ground level of a Georgian-era factory and is active in the local cycle scene. It recently helped organise the "Hell of the North West 10th Anniversary" alley cat.
Transport for Greater Manchster said: "Transformational work on one of Manchester’s key transport routes is under way. Our ground-breaking investment to transform one of Manchester’s most iconic roads will see it become a pedestrian and cycle-friendly boulevard as part of the bus priority package."
TfGM is making improvements to 50km of cycleways, saying it is to "give cyclists more space" with most of the routes "segregated from general traffic, making it safer and easier to travel around Greater Manchester."
The cycleway improvements are the first phase of Manchester’s Cycle City programme which is funded by a £42 million Cycle City Ambition Grant, awarded by the Department for Transport.