24 Jan 2019

Manchester Leads the Way with Safer Road Infrastructure Plans

Manchester is taking a leaf out of the European road safety playbook, planning a major new cycling and pedestrian route inspired by those found in major cycling cities such as Amsterdam.

Linking Manchester city centre with Chorlton, the proposed new route will cost £13.4m and will feature segregated cycling and walking lanes like those found in the Netherlands. It is also set to feature some of the most advanced junctions in the UK.

The 5km route has been designed as a way of encouraging greater numbers of cyclists and pedestrians to travel through Manchester, with a focus on safety and cohabitation as well as creating a more natural cycling culture.

Developed by the Transport for Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling team and Manchester City Council engineers (who recently won a National Transport Award for Excellence in Cycling and Walking), it's clear that a lot of effort has been expended to create a new type of cycle route for one of the UK's biggest cities.

Former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman, who also helped to design the cycle route in his role as Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, commented; “We want to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys, giving people the freedom not to have to drive. That means creating world-class streets where people want to socialise and relax.”

Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, planning and transport, adds; “We are excited to have Chris Boardman’s input on creating world-class walking and cycling infrastructure in Manchester.

“Lots of people have said that they want to walk and cycle more in Manchester and we present this scheme for consultation, as part of our ambition and absolute determination to create a new network of high-quality, safe cycling routes across the city.”

Perhaps more than any other city in England, Manchester is in need of a change in culture towards cycling and walking. Recent figures show that there are 250 million car journeys of less than 1km each year, and life expectancy and fitness levels are among the lowest in the country. What's more, Manchester is the first place in the world to see Mobike's cycle-sharing service withdrawn due to antisocial behaviour and theft.

Public consultation has recently ended on the project, but if approved the route will run the 5km along Barlow Moor Road, Manchester Road, Upper Chorlton Road and Chorlton Road.

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