£4.7m cycle projects get go-ahead

Dutch-style bike hire in Liverpool, a coastal route from Neston to Deeside and cycle shelters at stations across Greater Manchester are among projects granted funding by the Department for Transport.

The local schemes are part of a £30m national programme which will see 7,500 new cycle spaces at railway stations and 38 new and improved cycle routes have been agreed.

The Department for Transport has worked closely with the Association of Train Operating Companies, UK transport charity Sustrans, the Cycle Rail Working Group and local councils to design and approve the 68 projects to provide better access for cyclists and pedestrians.

The North West projects are as follows:

Merseyrail: 10 stations across the Merseyrail including Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool South Parkway, Southport, Ellesmere Port and Hooton. A new bike hire concept based on the Dutch system particularly focussed on passengers arriving at their destination stations across the Merseyrail network, as egress from stations is an often overlooked part of the end-to-end journey. Cost: £450,000. Grant: £350,000. Match funding by applicant: £100,000.

Merseyrail: Wirral line stations – Bidston, Birkenhead North, Ellesmere Port, Hoylake, New Brighton and West Kirby Safe and sheltered cycle storage facilities with swipe card access at six of Merseyrail's stations. These shelters will include two tier cycle parking, cover, lighting; CCTV and provide storage for approx. 32 bikes at each station, ending up in a total addition of almost 200 bike parking spaces. Cost: £300,000. Grant: £300,000

Merseyrail: Northern Line stations – Aintree, Bootle New Strand, Bootle Oriel Road, Kirkby, Liverpool South Parkway and Seaforth & Litherland Safe and sheltered cycle storage facilities with swipe card access at a further six of Merseyrail's stations. These shelters will include two tier cycle parking, cover, lighting; CCTV and provide storage for approx. 32 bikes at each station, ending up in a total addition of almost 200 bike parking spaces. Cost: £300,000 Grant: £300,000

Northern Rail: Salford Central, Manchester Oxford Road, Blackburn, Blackpool North, Ashton under Lyme, Hazel Grove and Eccles Secure and safe cycling sheltered storage facilities with swipe card access. These shelters will include Sheffield stands, cover, lighting; CCTV and provide storage for 600 bikes as follows: Salford Central 100 bikes; Manchester Oxford Road 200 bikes; Blackburn 50 bikes; Blackpool North 100 bikes; Ashton under Lyne 50 bikes; Hazel Grove 50 bikes; and Eccles 50 bikes. Cost: £400,000. Grant: £400,000

Northern Rail: Manchester Victoria and Bolton Cycle hubs providing cycle storage for 400 bikes (200 at each location), cycle hire, cycle repairs and cycle sales at a dedicated facilities adjacent to the stations. All cycle hubs will provide ongoing jobs and training for new starters. Cost: £700,000. Grant: £700,000

Cheshire East Council: Crewe cross town. Build on current development of the local network, extending the Connect2 scheme to the town centre and sites of employment on the northwest of town; create cross-town cycle route from Leighton Hospital via the town centre to the railway station and university. Cost: £800,000. Grant: £400,000. Match: £400,000

Cheshire West & Cheshire Council: Neston to Deeside. The scheme involves the construction of a coastal route between Neston town centre and Deeside Employment site. There is cross border cooperation to link to the Welsh side of the scheme. Cost: £550,000. Grant: £250,000 Match: £300,000.

Knowsley Council: Kirkby Network. The scheme will extend the existing Connect2 network into further employment sites in Kirkby, along with connections into the Fazakerley area of Liverpool and the Loop Line, NCN62. Cost: £540,000. Grant: £250,000. Match: £290,000.

Liverpool City Council: Link from the Liverpool Loop Line traffic-free route to Broadgreen Hospital. Involves creation of a disabled access ramp. Cost: £130,000. Grant: £30,000. Match: £100,000.

Sefton Council: Hightown, Formby and Sefton. Largely traffic-free links between Crosby, Hightown, Formby and Ainsdale that will enable walking and cycling journeys to a number of day to day destinations. Also links Aintree to employment sites at Old Roan and to the Racecourse. Cost: £600,000. Grant: £300,000. Match: £300,000

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "I know these plans will be hugely beneficial to communities and cyclists up and down England. They will also help to create jobs and reduce our carbon footprints while making cycling safer and more convenient – further emphasising the government's dedication to offer sustainable transport for all.

"I look forward to visiting some of the projects and hearing the difference renewed transport links have made to peoples' daily lives, especially making that last mile from the train to home an easy ride or walk."

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans' chief executive, said: "Sustrans is delighted to be working with the Department for Transport to help more people in communities to walk or cycle to school and work.

"Ongoing investment is needed to give many more people the chance to get active safely in their everyday journeys."

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Now if only lapsed schemes such as an Ormskirk Station – Westhead – Skelmersdale shared cycle route could get a push from this …

By Mark A

How does one get in touch with the people issuing the funding to seek work on the new contracts?

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