Greater Manchester walking and cycling schemes secure £5.6 million in funding

Greater Manchester’s Bee Network plan to deliver the UK’s ‘first’ joined-up cycling and walking network has had £5.6 million worth of new cycling and walking routes confirmed for the next stages of delivery.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has approved £5.6 million of the Mayor’s Challenge Fund to progress development of four cycling and walking schemes – one in Bury and three in Stockport – and to start construction on two Manchester schemes.

Manchester City Council has had two schemes approved for full delivery, which will see these fully-designed cycling and walking proposals delivered on the ground. These are the Beswick phase 1 scheme which will deliver modal filters, street enhancements, and new and improved crossings, as well as phase three of the Chorlton Cycleway scheme. This phase of the high-quality cycle route from Chorlton to Manchester city centre will see half a mile of the three-mile scheme delivered down Barlow Moor Road.

A further four schemes will be granted a total of £2.7 million to be developed to the next phase of delivery, known as a full business case. This would take the total number of MCF schemes at this stage to 56, representing a combined investment of £31.1 million.

These schemes include two active neighbourhoods in areas of the Heatons and Romiley in Stockport, where the movement of people will be prioritised over cars. Another Stockport scheme proposes a strategic walking and cycling link into Stockport town centre via the Thomson Street bridge, while Bury’s plans involve a selection of crossing upgrades that will improve the accessibility and user experience for those who choose to cycle or walk their journeys across a number of key routes.

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, said: “We’ve spent two years working with residents and councils to put together a plan that will truly benefit those who live, work and visit Greater Manchester, but now it’s time to start delivering. 2021 is the ‘Year of Delivery’, with a commitment to getting 55 miles of safe cycling and walking routes on the ground, and the approval of these schemes clearly show we’re making steps to achieve that goal.

“Our ultimate goal is to enable an ever-increasing number of Greater Manchester residents and visitors to leave the car at home, making every day journeys to school, shops, or to public transport hubs on foot or by bike.”

The latest schemes with approved development costs are:

1. Bury crossing points and junctions – This scheme will deliver a package of junction upgrades and high-quality new pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities within four areas of severance on Bury’s highway network, including the A665 Bury Old Road/Heywood Road, Prestwich and theA58 Jubilee Way/A56 Manchester Road/Angouleme Way, near Bury town centre. MCF funding requirement – £314,000

2. Stockport Romiley neighbourhood and links – Thorough engagement with Romiley residents will be used to identify and resolve issues through the scope of the active neighbourhood element which will be developed. The scheme is envisaged to contain three main elements – new and improved signalised crossings of the busy Compstall Road/Stockport Road, a route to Stockport town centre, and an active neighbourhood which aims to create more liveable streets and create an environment attractive for walking and cycling. An engagement exercise took place in Autumn 2020 in the Heatons and Romiley as part of the first stage of the development proposals for active neighbourhoods in both areas. MCF funding requirement – £848,000

3. Stockport Heatons Active Neighbourhood – This scheme will cover the four Heatons and the north-west area of Stockport within the M60. The scheme will be community-led and developed in partnership with Stockport MBC. The active neighbourhood seeks to provide an environment which supports walking and cycling for short trips by redressing the balance toward active modes within local centres and communities. MCF funding requirement – £798,000

4. Stockport Thomson Street Bridge – Aims to deliver a strategic key walking and cycling link into Stockport town and civic centre from the west, as well as providing a much-improved active travel access to the rail station and forthcoming new Interchange. A new walking and cycling bridge over the West Coast Mainline will overcome east-west severance to the walking and cycling network, as will an improved junction/crossing of the A6 Wellington Road linking to the civic area of the town. MCF funding requirement – £771,000

The latest schemes approved for delivery are:

1. Manchester Beswick (Phase 1) – This scheme will deliver five elements of a neighbourhood wide scheme; modal filters, street enhancements, and new and improved road crossings. The key elements delivered include both temporary and permanent road closures to motorised traffic, two-way cycle lanes, raised plateaus and build-outs, landscaping improvements and upgraded crossing points – including the creation of a parallel crossing. MCF funding requirement – £982,000

2. Manchester to Chorlton Cycleway (Phase 3) – This scheme will continue to deliver a high-quality cycle route, with approximately 0.8 kilometres of the 5-kilometre total scheme length. Chorlton (Phase 3) is located at the southern entry/exit point of the wider scheme and incorporates segregated cycle lanes along both roadsides of the route, bus stop bypasses, cycle lanes to the rear of existing parking. MCF funding requirement – £1.8million

Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, planning and transport, councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “With funding confirmation in place, we will be pressing ahead with this important work, as part of our commitment to building new, permanent, high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure across the whole of our city.

“Having listened carefully to residents, we’re set to launch a fresh consultation on phase 3 of the Manchester to Chorlton scheme, presenting updated designs which take on board the important feedback we’ve already received. We’ll continue to work with local communities to ensure that all new schemes make cycling and walking the natural choice for as many journeys as possible.”

These schemes will be part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network, a plan to deliver a 1,800 mile, joined up cycling and walking network across the city-region. So far, 82 schemes from the ten GM local authorities and TfGM are in the development pipeline for the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, with a total value of £493 million – around a third of the total forecast cost of £1.5 billion required to deliver the Bee Network as a whole across Greater Manchester over the next ten years.

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