A host of high-profile cycling and walking schemes – including projects across Tameside – will be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) next week.
The first 15 projects that will form part of Greater Manchester’s Beelines cycling and walking network have been put forward for funding. If approved, it would see around £25 million provided from the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund and a further £4 million funded by Greater Manchester’s district councils and the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant.
All 10 Greater Manchester local authorities stand to benefit from at least one scheme with work beginning by the end of the year.
In Tameside, a package of improvements, such as creating filtered neighbourhoods where people are prioritised over cars, has been submitted. Upgrades will also be made to traffic free routes and segregated facilities will be provided for bikes on more major roads. The project is expected to cost in the region of £500,000.
Across Greater Manchester, the proposed projects will deliver 60 new and upgraded crossings and junctions as well as 15 miles of new cycling and walking routes. This includes six miles of Dutch-style cycle lanes that are separated from motor traffic.
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “We asked Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities to hit the ground running and they’ve been able to turn these first proposed projects around very quickly. This is a real achievement in itself and will help us to keep up momentum on transforming the city-region into a better place to be.
“The list of proposed projects announced today is the first of many for each local authority and we hope to publish the next list in the coming weeks. One thing we won’t compromise on is quality; we’re working closely with all 10 local authorities to ensure that every single project on this list meets a tough set of design standards. Only by doing this will we enable thousands more people to consider making more trips on foot or by bike.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The network will connect every community in Greater Manchester, opening up our neighbourhoods and making it far easier to travel on foot or by bike to school, to the shops, to work.
“It is hugely exciting to see the first of many schemes coming through and the impact will be truly transformational.”
Since launching the first draft of the cycling and walking network map online last month, the mappingGM website has received over 2,000 comments from people across Greater Manchester. A series of public drop-in sessions will be hosted in each local authority over the coming weeks.
Chris Boardman added: “The public response to the launch has been simply overwhelming. It has reinforced what we already knew; this is something that the people of Greater Manchester want. We are reclaiming streets so that they work for people first – just like we’ve seen many great cities around the world do – and we are ready to reap all of the benefits that come with it.
“We’re still a few months away from starting construction of the first completed route and it is crucial that we keep getting feedback from people in every area of Greater Manchester to help inform the plans as they evolve.”
The first draft of the network will remain open for comments on the www.mappingGM.org.uk/Beelines platform until the end of September. Comments will then be used to inform the second draft of the map which will be published later this year.
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