Transport for Greater Manchester has launched a £4.9 million plan to boost cycle commuter services and facilities.
Using cash from the Government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund, more than 1,000 secure cycle parking spaces will be created at new cycle centres across Greater Manchester.
The centres will open next year and alongside bike parking facilities, they will include places to stash cycle gear, shower and change before work. There will also be a programme of local cycle information and training offered to help encourage cycle commuters.TfGM successfully bid for the cash in July, promising to also hold bike maintenance 'courses', online resources and help commuters find cycle-friendly routes to work.
A 'Bike Back to Work' scheme will also be launched, offering people looking to find work the chance to borrow a bike for a trial period to help extend the distance they they can travel to a job.
Chris Boardman MBE is backing the initiative. He said: “Cycling is becoming more popular not just as a sport but as a simple means of getting about and there’s a real sense that attitudes and perceptions are beginning to change. But there’s still a long way to go, and a lot more work to be done, before people are able to make cycling their preferred choice.
“There is not just one reason why more people might not want to go by bike so all the initiatives in the programme will help in some way, getting more and more people onto their bikes when making that daily commute. This is in line with one of British Cycling’s over-arching aims of getting more people riding their bikes more often. I'm particularly pleased this initiative is being launched in the home town of the Great Britain Cycling Team."
TfGM is set to build on this and submit a further bid in December for funding to help introduce more cycle routes, adding to the range of facilities provided to encourage more cycling.