Manchester Beelines June 2018

Greater Manchester launches ‘UK’s largest’ cycle network

Transport for Greater Manchester and cycling and walking commissioner Chris Boardman have revealed what is claimed to be the UK’s largest cycling network, covering 1,000 miles of routes and 75 miles of “Dutch-style” segregated bike lanes.

The project, named Beelines, follows Boardman’s report to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, published in December last year, and outlines around 1,000 miles of cycle routes, 1,400 new crossings, and more than 75 miles of segregated cycle lanes on existing roads.

Initial estimates suggest the routes will be “cost-effective and fast to implement” with the new infrastructure in place “as early as 2023”.

The programme is targeting at least one protected cycle corridor per local authority in Greater Manchester, and each borough has a target for the number of upgraded crossings, including:

  • 124 new or upgraded crossings in Bolton
  • 71 in Bury
  • 279 in Manchester
  • 80 in Oldham
  • 136 in Rochdale
  • 194 in Salford
  • 123 in Stockport
  • 63 in Tameside
  • 155 in Trafford
  • 183 in Wigan

Overall, the interventions are estimated to open up 92% of the existing network to cyclists across the whole of Greater Manchester.

A £160m cycling and walking challenge fund has already been made available to kick-start the project, and Planit-IE has created visualisations of how the proposed junctions and infrastructure will look.

Boardman said: “The proposed network is not for people who already cycle or walk for the majority of their journeys. Its focus is to enable the two thirds of people who currently use their car, as their main mode of transport.

“Numerous surveys have told us they do this because at present, cycling and walking doesn’t feel safe, attractive or easy. We need thousands of Greater Manchester residents to look out of their car windows and think: ‘That appeals to me.’ In the few places where we have safe, attractive infrastructure, that is exactly what has happened.”

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They have something similar to this in Berlin and people still ride on the pavements. This level of investment should be made in proper transport links not gimmcks like this.They could use the 1 and a half billion to cut fares on trams and buses. That would get people out of their cars.

By Elephant

Ever the positive Elephant. It’s not much of a gimmick in Amsterdam or Copenhagen. The cost of the fare does not stop people using metrolink, a lack of access to metrolink stops people from using it. Buses cause as much congestion and pollution as cars, how will more bus journeys sort the problem out? You could let every single person in GM ride free on buses and people will still drive, as they know will still be sat in the same traffic as a bus 90% of the time.

By Loganberry

I’m not sure if you know how buses work Logan but 20 people sat in a bus will take up far less room on the road than 20 cars. It absolutely does have an affect of congestion.

By cool beans

Salford spent a lot of money (ring fenced I believe) for a cycle lane down Great Clowes Street joining Blackfriars into MCC….I hardly ever see it used,driving or walking down it, several times a day, at various times, and in typical Salford fashion it is usually full of litter..

By Schwyz

Schwyz – great point there: you need a comprehensive network for that route to tie into in order to encourage more people to use it.

The amount of space cars take up is obscene. That’s before you consider the emissions, financial cost, opportunity cost of exercise etc. This announcement is self-evidently a good thing.

By Millenial

Elephant, its £0.16bn, not £1.5bn, so you’ve misread the spend by a factor of 10. Insignificant compared to spending on vehicle infrastructure.

Your reference to “riding on the pavement” in Berlin is (further to being unsupported) meaningless. Do you think the purpose of this scheme is simply to stop people riding on the pavement (I think you mean footway)? This is about making cycling a viable and attractive means of travel for more people – its a very obvious gap in GM’s “offer” of where it is trying to position itself globally.

By Millenial

You assume Loganberry that everyone is capable of a seven mile journey on a bike? The money should be used to cut fares.I am fed up with the green gestapo stopping people from living their lives.

By Elephant

Elephant, I’m fed up with smog over Manchester and the shortening of my life. Each to their own.

By Giraffe

Elephant – you assume everybody lives 7 miles away?
You also assume everybody has the option of driving? Even if they did, it isn’t physically possible due to… *road space constraints*. Cycle lanes are more efficient – and fairer – use of the available road space.

For myopic car-centric view of the world hop over to the US and see where that gets you.

By Millenial

As a daily cyclist 1st and a car driver 2nd, sorting out the state of the roads would be a decent start. It’s a f***ing disgrace the way roads have deteriorated over the years. I’m sick of avoiding potholes and avoiding swerving cars doing the same.

By Peter R

Great idea. The more cycle lanes and alternative means of travel into Manchester the better. And great point by Loganberry – even if buses were free you’d be hard pressed to find many commuters wanting to use them – it takes far too long to travel by bus and few want to, but at least the option is there. As long as there are options to get to work then people have a choice. At the moment cycling to work is sadly considered too difficult and dangerous by most people and that’s the issue. For the cost/benefit analysis, surely cycling lanes are the easiest way to ease congestion.

By Raptor

“Green gestapo” HAHA YEAH! You tell em Elephant my old mate!! I read about this “Green Gestappo” in the Sun and if I’m honest they need stopping. Me and you Elephant! Yeah!!!

By Giraffe

Cycleways good but more thought needed about how pedestrians cross roads. It is now very difficult by Platt Fields A34 Wilmslow Rd. I now do this quite often. Bike lane, bus lane, normal road, normal road, bus lane, bike lane. Do you cross first one, stop, cross the next stop etc? The road is never actually clear and everything moves with no relationship to each other. Nightmare. Accident rate – no idea. But, yes, cyclists have shouted at me!

By Xyzrabbit