MOTORWAY madness will soon be a thing of the past for cyclists travelling around Hyde and Longdendale.
Working in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester and Sustrans, Tameside Council has made a successful bid to Highways England for £2 million to construct safe routes across the M67 and A57.
The funding will pay for a network of bike-friendly connections linking Hyde with Mottram, Newton, Godley, Hollingworth, Hattersley, the Trans Pennine Trail and Derbyshire. The new routes will allow cyclists to avoid busy roads that carry high volumes of traffic and present a major hazard to people on two wheels.
Steven Pleasant, Tameside Council’s chief executive, said: “As our record shows, cycling is very important to this authority.
“We are happy to work in partnership with anyone who shares our vision, and I would like to thank Transport for Greater Manchester and Sustrans for their invaluable help in lodging this bid. Our success was in no small part down to them.
“At Tameside Council we are committed to improving our cycling infrastructure. Every one of our road developments, such as the Park Parade bypass in Ashton, now takes cyclists into account - and with good reason. Getting on your bike cuts traffic congestion and pollution, and helps people of all ages stay fit and healthy.
“I’m very proud that Tameside is one of the leading councils in the North West in terms of support for cycling. We have achieved a great deal over the last few years, but we have a lot more to do.”
A canalside cycleway already connects Ashton – and Guide Bridge Station – with central Manchester. Large parts of the towpath have been resurfaced and 6km (3.7 miles) are illuminated by solar-power stud lighting.
Tameside is also looking at the possibility of creating a 28km (17.5-mile) Tame Valley mountain bike trail on a circular route running through Stalybridge, Mossley and part of Greenfield.
At Richmond Street, Ashton, the Tameside Cycle Circuit allows adults and youngsters of all abilities to cycle in safety. On June 3 it hosted an event for 250 disabled and para-cyclists as part of the two-day Tour de Manc.
A cycling hub near Ashton Swimming Pool provides facilities for cyclists can store their bikes and gear and move on to work by foot or on public transport. There are also bike lockers at Metrolink stops in Tameside.
For more information on cycling in Tameside visit www.tameside.gov.uk/cycling
Full details of the Ashton Canal Cycleway and its amenities are available at http://cycling.tfgm.com/Documents/cycleways/cycleway-ashton.pdf
For the cycle circuit visit http://livewelltameside.com/tameside-cycle-circuit
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