Despite inclement weather, the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC) and CTC, took to Manchester's streets last night calling for more Space for Cycling.
The peloton started outside Deansgate station and wound their way to the Manchester Central Convention Centre where the Conservative Party Conference 2015 is being held.
The cyclists stopped outside Bridgewater Hall to be addressed by Chair of the Commons Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who was presented with a petition.
The petition compiled by GMCC, but representing views of cyclists from beyond Manchester, calls for:
• dedicated space for cycling on busy main roads and junctions
• reduction of motor vehicle volumes and speeds on smaller roads
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP (Totnes) and Chair of the Commons Health Select Committee said: “As a long time campaigner for cycling, I’m delighted to join GMCC and CTC today as they take to Manchester’s streets calling for Space for Cycling.
“Cycling’s benefits in terms of health and the economy are well documented, and I will continue to campaign for conditions which will make cycling safe and a viable transport option for all people, no matter their age or ability.”
Manchester is one of eight cities to receive funding from the Department for Transport dedicated to improve cycling provision. GMCC campaigners pointed out that cycling conditions in Manchester are beginning to improve but more needs to be done, citing the bus stop bypasses on Oxford Rd and the elimination of the rat run on Heald Place (Rusholme) as positive first steps.
Nick Hubble, GMCC campaigner said: “We’re slowly starting to see the sort of Space for Cycling Manchester has been crying out for, but there are still large parts of Greater Manchester which are yet to see any change.
“The case for providing better provision for cycling in Greater Manchester is stronger than ever. Over the summer the closure of the Mancunian Way combined with a range of roadworks across the city showed the fragility of a car-based design for the region’s transport system as the road network struggled to cope with the volume of displaced vehicles.
“Higher levels of cycling mean a cleaner, safer, healthier, less congested and more liveable city that benefits people who already cycle, people who would like to cycle more as well as people who don’t, and that’s why we’re demanding Space for Cycling this evening.”
Sam Jones, CTC Campaigns and Communications Coordinator said: “Changes to cycle conditions in the UK are reliant upon local authorities seeing the health and economic benefits of creating Space for Cycling. But it is Westminster which will provide the funds for them to do so.
“Today’s ride in Manchester has told a Conservative Government what cycling needs. Now they need to keep their promise and provide funding of at least £10 per head in the forthcoming Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and the national design standards to ensure the money is well spent.”