A total of 18 new cycling and walking schemes with a total value of £137m will be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) next week as part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network.
They represent the single biggest investment in cycling and walking ever announced in the city-region and mean Greater Manchester is investing around £18 per head per year on cycling and walking; one of the highest levels in the UK.
The latest schemes bring the total value of cycling and walking related-projects across Greater Manchester to around £204 million. Around £115 million of this funding is from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund with £88 million coming from local contributions.
If approved this would take the number of endorsed schemes so far to 42 and will deliver 319 new and upgraded crossings and junctions as well as 70 miles of new cycling and walking routes. This includes 14 miles of Dutch-style cycle lanes that are protected from motor traffic.
Schemes being proposed include plans for a £10.7 million cycling and walking corridor in Rochdale, a £11.6 million route between Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations, a spectacular 100 metre cycling and walking bridge linking Stockport railway station with the proposed new interchange, plus a £14.6 million bid to revolutionise travel on foot and by bike in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley.
Active neighbourhoods, where the movement of people are prioritised over the movement of motor traffic, are also proposed in multi-million pound projects in Levenshulme and Ordsall.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Greater Manchester – we’re just at the start of a process that will see us eventually compete with some of the world’s best and most liveable cities like Vancouver, Copenhagen and New York City. Greater Manchester’s people, along with the 10 districts, have made it pretty clear that enabling more local journeys to happen without cars as part of a wider public transport offer is what is required to support the city-region on so many fronts – congestion, air quality, creating healthier and more connected communities. I’m delighted to be able to launch these plans in Leigh where we’re going to have some really high quality cycling and walking routes linking up local amenities.”
Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The 42 schemes that are now on the books are truly transformational. We’ll get a real bang for our buck here in terms of the positive knock-on benefits that will be made possible by this investment.
“Some of the projects, like the proposed active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, have been entirely community-led and driven; the idea for it started by its own residents. More trips on foot or by bike just happen to be a by-product of creating better places to live.”
Transport for Greater Manchester has also proposed an independent research project to investigate using European-style crossings at minor side road junctions to improve safety and enhance the experience for people travelling on foot or by bike. Currently, zebra crossing-style markings are only permitted on UK roads where Belisha Beacons and zig zag markings are also in place and can cost around £30,000. If European-style crossings were to be permitted in the UK it would bring the cost per side road junction down to around £500.
Chris Boardman added: “The majority of European cities use zebra crossings at side roads to give a clear and simple message to drivers that they must give way to people travelling on foot. They are used in cities across the world and now we want to see if this approach can work in Greater Manchester.
“If it can, and with help from Department for Transport, it will enable us to quickly and cheaply ensure that people are much better protected on every-day journeys including trips to school, to the shops, to work.”
The 18 new proposed projects being funded as part of the Mayor’s Challenge Fund are:
1. Active neighbourhood in Levenshulme - £2.5 million
The creation of an active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, where the movement of people is prioritised over the movement of motor traffic. The project includes a series of signalised and minor junction upgrades, parallel crossings, modal filters and investment in streetscapes to create a nicer environment for local trips on foot or by bike.
The project will cost in the region of £2.5 million with £2.4 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and Manchester City Council contributing £100,000.
2. Upgraded junction at Mancunian Way / Princess Road - £10.6 million
This project involves a full junction upgrade where Mancunian Way meets Princess Road. The existing subways will be removed and protected cycle tracks will be created, as well as pedestrian paths and a signalised crossing.
The full junction upgrade will cost in the region of £10.6 million. £7.7 million will be funded by local contributions with £2.9 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, covering the cycling and walking elements.
3. Rochdale canal improvements - £1.3 million
The project involves upgrades to the Rochdale canal corridor linking existing and developing communities. This includes improvements to the canal towpaths, improved access under a low bridge at Butler Street and improved accessibility to four sets of steps.
The project will cost in the region of £1.3 million and will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
4. Piccadilly to Victoria route - £11.6 million
A new cycling and walking route enhancing the on foot and by bike experience from Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Victoria stations, via the Northern Quarter, will be delivered with a host of public realm improvements.
The project is expected to cost in the region of £11.6 million with £1 million coming from the Government’s Cycle Cities Ambition Grant funding and the remaining £10.6 million from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
5. Castleton to Rochdale town centre route phase 2 - £10.7 million
To enhance the existing planned high-quality cycling and walking corridor which will link Rochdale town centre with Castleton, phase 2 of the project involves 0.7 miles of streetscape improvements, a 0.7 mile cycle street, five signalised junction upgrades and 0.6 miles of segregated cycling track.
The project will cost in the region of £10.7 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
6. Barton aqueduct – traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park - £5.3 million
This project will create a new traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park. This includes reinstating a historic raised towpath across the Barton aqueduct, two new ramps, towpath widening and surface improvements. Completing a key gap in the Bridgewater Way route, this scheme will link residential communities in Salford with major employment, retail and leisure opportunities in Trafford Park.
The project will cost in the region of £5.3 million with a £4.8 million contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £500,000 in local contributions.
7. Liverpool Street cycling and walking corridor - £6.4 million
Creating a continuous safe link between Salford Quays and Manchester city centre, this project enhances the existing Liverpool Street corridor proposals, creating a safe and attractive environment for those travelling on foot or by bike. The project will deliver a 1.4 mile segregated cycle way, three major and 12 minor junction upgrades, six bus stop bypasses, five cycle parking spaces and public realm upgrades.
The project will cost in the region of £6.4 million. It is being funded with a £3.9 million contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £2.5 million in local contributions.
8. Active neighbourhood in Ordsall - £2.8 million
The creation of an active neighbourhood in Ordsall where the movement of people is prioritised over the movement of motor traffic, this project will reduce car dependency and rat-running, as well as improving the experience of travelling to public transport hubs. It will deliver 10 junction upgrades, six new parallel crossings and 0.6 miles of light segregated cycle lanes, connecting the city centre with Ordsall riverside and Salford Quays.
The project will cost in the region of £2.8 million with a £2.6 million contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £200,000 in local contributions.
9. A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR) cycling and walking improvements - £1.4 million
This project increases the connectivity on foot or by bike of communities near the newly built A6 MARR corridor, including Heald Green, Stanley Green and Bramhall. This includes a 1.4 mile shared walking and cycling path and three new crossings for people walking and cycling.
The project will cost in the region of £1.4 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
10. Hazel Grove and Bramhall link – £4.1 million
Plugging an important gap in the network between Bramhall Park and Hazel Grove, this project will provide over two miles of new safe cycle route protected from traffic on the A5143 Jacksons Lane/Dean Lane including two signalised junction upgrades, seven minor junction upgrades, new crossings for people walking and cycling, bus stop-bypasses and cycle parking.
The project will cost in the region of £4.1 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
11. Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath crossing improvements – £0.7m
Linking Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath, this package of crossings will improve local connectivity making local trips on foot and by bike more attractive. The project includes four junction upgrades, two new crossings for people walking and cycling, 15 cycle parking spaces, two filtered neighbourhoods and one new access ramp.
The project will cost in the region of £700,000 and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
12. The Heatons cycling and walking improvements - £2.2 million
This project will create quiet routes that will connect the communities of Heaton Chapel, Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey for journeys on foot and by bike. It will also link the Fallowfield Loop and the Trans Pennine Trail. This includes 1.9 miles of off-road paths, 12 minor junction upgrades, two signalised junction upgrades, new and upgraded crossings for people walking and cycling, modal filter points and cycle parking.
The project will cost in the region of £2.2 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
13. Ladybrook Valley - Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall links – £0.8m
This project will deliver a key missing link in the cycling and walking route in the Ladybrook Valley linking Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle. A 0.9 mile traffic-free cycling and walking path will be created as well as a ramp for access to Bramhall Park Road.
The project will cost in the region of £800,000 and will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
14. Stockport interchange cycling and walking elements - £57 million
This project will deliver a landmark new walking and cycling bridge spanning over 100m metres, providing a major new walking and cycling route linking the rail station, the new bus interchange, and Mersey Square. The project will also create a traffic-free public square, new crossings for people walking and cycling and secure cycle storage.
The projected cost for the Stockport interchange project is in the region of £57 million. The Mayor’s Challenge Fund will contribute £9 million and the remaining £48 million will come from local contributions.
15. Crown Point, Denton - £2.5 million
Enabling more people in Denton to travel on foot or by bike, this project will improve the experience at and close to Crown Point junction. It includes a 0.6 mile segregated cycle lane, a 300 metre hybrid lane, one signalised junction upgrade, two parallel crossings, bus stop bypasses and cycle parking.
The project will cost in the region of £2.5 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
16. Wharfside and Trafford Park links - £2.8 million
Leading to more local trips on foot and by bike, this project focuses on enhancing the experience of key journeys across Stretford, Trafford Park, Old Trafford and Salford Quays. It will deliver 1.2 miles of segregated cycle lanes, 320 metres of shared use footway, two signalised junction upgrades, four parallel crossings and the conversion of a vehicular lane to a junction that works for people travelling on foot and by bike. It also includes cycle parking.
The project will cost in the region of £2.8 million with £2.7 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £100,000 in local contributions.
17. Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley cycling and walking routes - £14.6 million
Revolutionising the on foot and by bike experience in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley, this project will improve the safety and accessibility of the town centres as well as links to business, retail and public transport hubs. It includes 24 new or upgraded crossings, 6.2 miles of segregated cycling lanes, 7.8 miles of shared road paths, 11.2 miles of shared use footway, 16 ‘parklets’ (small on-street mini- parks that typically have seating, planting and bike parking) as well as improvements to the street scape.
The project is expected to cost in the region of 14.6 million with £13.9 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £700,000 in local contributions.
18. Greater Manchester bike hire scheme
A proposal to initiate a project to bring forward a GM-wide bike hire scheme will also be considered by the GMCA on 29 March. Further details will be announced in the Spring.