Greater Manchester Cycling
Picture credit: Livia Lazar/Sustrans

Bike Life report: 77% of residents want more protected cycle routes

More than three-quarters of surveyed Greater Manchester residents want more protected cycle routes across the region, according to a report commissioned by Transport for Greater Manchester and charity Sustrans.

The survey of 1,100 Greater Manchester residents carried out in July this year found that 76% of people wanted to see more investment in cycling in Greater Manchester, while 65% called for more physically separated on-road cycle lanes.

Only 44% backed more on-road painted cycle lanes while 35% supported more shared pavements.

A further 77% of people felt that cycling safety needed to be improved across the region.

The Bike Life report called for five new “cycle-friendly” districts in Greater Manchester: town centres in Cheadle Hulme, Oldham, Radcliffe, and Wigan, as well as improvements to Manchester City Centre.

Improvement works are to include a package of cycle routes, ‘quiet street’ treatments, 20mph zones and cycle parking facilities.

The report added that the region’s aspiration was to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2025.

This would be funded through the £22m Cycle City grant, the second phase of which is already subject to delays.

Manchester City Council’s executive confirmed last week that the second phase was unlikely to get under way before April next year, representing a delay of more than four months, after the scope of the project was changed.

This phase was to include a new cycle path between the city centre and Chorlton. The proposed path was due to also link to southern Chorlton and the Trans Pennine Trail. In a statement to Place North West, the council said it would provide a revised timescale for the project “in due course”.

The first phase of Cycle City included a £1.4m upgrade of cycle paths along the Ashton Canal towpath and links into Ashton town centre, and the Wilmslow Road cycleway.

Chris Boardman, British Cycling policy adviser and now Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, said: “Evidence has shown us time and again that the world’s happiest and healthiest cities all have high cycling rates in common. It’s no coincidence, cycling really is the silver bullet.

“Greater Manchester is determined to become one of the most attractive city regions in the world and, in pursuing that aim, it’s great to see through Bike Life the vast majority of our residents want us to prioritise making cycling a safe and attractive thing for them to do.”

Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans director for England North, added: “The Bike Life report is the voice of people throughout Greater Manchester. It clearly shows that most people living in the city region think cycling is a good thing and are far more supportive of bold and ambitious plans for cycling than decision-makers often think.

“The new Wilmslow Road Cycleway has been incredibly popular and we know people want more dedicated space like this for cycling, even when this means taking space away from cars.”

“This is an exciting time for the city region as we look at new approaches to transport, health and environment. Mayor Andy Burnham has made a clear commitment to funding cycling at the kind of levels we see in London and Scotland.

“Creating streets designed for people, not motor vehicles, to help more people walk or cycle is the key to keeping Greater Manchester moving and improving our health and economic vitality.”

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Great but please introduce a penalty for when there is a cycle lane but the cyclist refuses to use it and ride on the road instead. See this every day on Deansgate/Chester Road.


I believe this should be nationwide! Not just Manchester. Bit silly that people want it to be more cycle friendly but don’t want more cycle lanes that’s daft!
Definitely need to improve cycle lanes all over – as the way things are even the most proficient cyclist is forced onto pavement at some point as its just not safe! People need more encouragement and of course safety.

By Bob Dawson

Don’t agree with penalising people who ride on pavement as long as they ride slowly and appreciate that this is a pavement I don’t have any right of way etc. As I am a really rubbish cyclist but I have a go so to speak. And there are cycle lanes I would just be too scared to ride on at mo. (especially when there’s a lorry straddling it)

By Bob Dawson

Highway code rules for cyclists:

Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

By pixiepie

JS have you tried cycling on said lanes? Give them a try and you’ll see the obvious downfalls in design and planning which lead people to stop using them.

By Aaron

I’m not cyclist but I remember asking one why he wasn’t using the dedicated cycle lane , he said it was because they are not cleaned and are full of debris , if he uses them he just gets punctures.

By Barny

Above picture of a cyclist not wearing a helmet! This should also be mandatory!


@IMHO The chances are the lady in the picture is a motorist. Who also rides a bike.

Helmets shouldn’t be compulsory and are arguably unnecessary for commuting on good quality cycling infrastructure.

By Bicycle face

Cycle helmets are a choice – there is no evidence they have a significant benefit and some are actually worse than not wearing one. If we are to get more people on a bike, making helmets compulsory is not the way to do it…

By Anonymous

When is the last bit of the Bridgewater Canal towpath in Astley (about 1mile) going to be surfaced ? At the moment it is a quagmire and not safe to cycle. This the only part of the towpath which has not been resurfaced between Wigan and Manchester and is otherwise a great commuter route …..


I am a big advocate of Helmets. But I have problem with mine and getting one to fit.

By Russell Bolton

Well that’s not rocket science is it! I have just this week sold my bike on eBay after being knocked off by motorist 3 times in the last year. I figured it was only a matter of time before my luck ran out and I got seriously injured. Safer cycle routes is a must if they want bike usage to increase.

By Coolmanc