Transport for Greater Manchester has submitted two planning applications to Bury and Tameside Councils for cycle storage using the Government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
TfGM has £4.9m from the fund to deliver the Greater Manchester Commuter Cycle Project, which will help to make cycling to work a more attractive option for more people. A funding bid for more money will be submitted to Government later this year.
The Commuter Cycle Project will provide more than 1,000 secure cycle parking spaces at a series of new cycle centres and cycle hubs across Greater Manchester.
This week, proposals were submitted to Tameside Council to deliver a new cycle hub at Ashton Pool, and plans have also been submitted to Bury Council to deliver a new cycle hub at Bury Interchange. Each cycle hub will provide enclosed, secure cycle parking and lockers suitable for storing equipment like cycle helmets and wet weather clothing and are primarily aimed at those commuter cyclists travelling shorter distances. The facilities will operate on a membership basis, with access being gained by a swipe card. Users will lock their bicycles to the cycle stands in the usual manner and CCTV coverage will provide additional security.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM Committee, said: "The Commuter Cycle Project is a very important first step on the path to achieving the ambitious aims covered by our full Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid, so I'm pleased we're making progress.
"These cycle hubs will provide the foundations for a real change in the way people think about cycling; they will help to break down some of the barriers – both real and perceived – that currently stop people from taking their bike to work."
Ashton's cycle hub will be located directly outside Ashton Pools, close to the town centre's bus station and the site of the future Metrolink line. Bury's facility will be in Bury Interchange, well-placed for people travelling to the market area and town centre businesses, as well as for people wanting to store their bicycles before using bus and Metrolink services to travel further afield.
Each facility will provide around 50 cycle parking spaces and, subject to securing the necessary approvals, construction should start in early 2012 and be completed by spring 2012.
Further cycle facilities are planned for Altrincham, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Sale and Wigan, along with a number of locations in the regional centre.
In addition, the project will see TfGM working with businesses to provide a programme of local cycle information, adult cycle training, cycle maintenance courses and other support measures to help break through the barriers that currently hold people back from commuting by bike.