The Greater Manchester Combined Authority will next week consider 18 cycling and walking schemes with a combined value of £137m, the projects being part of the proposed Bee Network.
The investment is presented by GMCA as the single biggest investment in cycling and walking ever announced in the city region, representing an investment of around £18 per head per year on cycling and walking in what is a flagship policy for mayor Andy Burnham.
Some of the proposals, such as the cycling and walking bridge between Stockport’s redeveloped bus station and its railway station, have already been trailed, while some are upgrades of pre-existing projects.
All told, the latest schemes bring the total value of cycling and walking related-projects across Greater Manchester to around £204m, around £115m of which is to come from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund with £88m coming from local contributions.
If approved, the number of endorsed schemes under the policy would move to 42, covering 319 new and upgraded crossings and junctions and 70 miles of new cycling and walking routes, including 14 miles protected from motor traffic. “Active neighbourhoods,” where the movement of people is prioritised over the movement of motor traffic, are also proposed in Levenshulme and Ordsall.
Burnham said: “We’re just at the start of a process that will see us eventually compete with some of the world’s best and most liveable cities like Vancouver, Copenhagen and New York City.
“Greater Manchester’s people, along with the 10 districts, have made it pretty clear that enabling more local journeys to happen without cars as part of a wider public transport offer is what is required to support the city region on so many fronts – congestion, air quality, creating healthier and more connected communities.”
The 18 proposed projects being funded as part of the Mayor’s Challenge Fund are:
- Active neighbourhood in Levenshulme – £2.5m
The project includes a series of signalised and minor junction upgrades, parallel crossings, modal filters and investment in streetscapes to create a nicer environment for local trips on foot or by bike.
The project will cost in the region of £2.5 million with £2.4 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and Manchester City Council contributing £100,000.
- Upgraded junction at Mancunian Way/Princess Road – £10.6m
This project involves a full junction upgrade where Mancunian Way meets Princess Road. The existing subways will be removed and protected cycle tracks will be created, as well as pedestrian paths and a signalised crossing.
The full upgrade will cost in the region of £10.6m. £7.7 million from local contributions and £2.9m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, covering the cycling and walking elements.
- Rochdale canal improvements – £1.3m
Upgrades to the Rochdale canal corridor linking existing and developing communities. This includes improvements to the canal towpaths, improved access under a low bridge at Butler Street and improved accessibility to four sets of steps. To be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
- Piccadilly to Victoria route – £11.6m
A new cycling and walking route between the key raiwlay stations via the Northern Quarter, to be delivered “with a host of public realm improvements”. The Government’s Cycle Cities Ambtion Grant can provide £1m, the rest will come from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
- Castleton to Rochdale town centre route phase 2 – £10.7m
To enhance the existing planned cycling and walking corridor to link Rochdale town centre with Castleton, phase two of the project involves 0.7 miles of streetscape improvements, a 0.7 mile cycle street, five signalised junction upgrades and 0.6 miles of segregated cycling track. To be fully funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
- Barton aqueduct – traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park – £5.3m
Includes reinstating a historic raised towpath across the Barton aqueduct, two new ramps, towpath widening and surface improvements. Completing a key gap in the Bridgewater Way route, this scheme will link residential communities in Salford with employment, retail and leisure opportunities in Trafford Park.
The Challenge Fund will contribute £4.8m, with the rest raised locally.
- Liverpool Street cycling and walking corridor – £6.4m
Creating a continuous safe link between Salford Quays and Manchester city centre, this project enhances the existing Liverpool Street corridor proposals. The project will deliver a 1.4 mile segregated cycle way, three major and 12 minor junction upgrades, six bus stop bypasses, five cycle parking spaces and public realm upgrades.
The project is to be funded with a £3.9m contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £2.5m in local contributions.
- Active neighbourhood in Ordsall – £2.8million
Aimed at reducing car dependency and rat-running, as well as improving the experience of travelling to public transport hubs. It will deliver 10 junction upgrades, six new parallel crossings and 0.6 miles of light segregated cycle lanes, connecting the city centre with Ordsall riverside and Salford Quays.
Of the £2.8m estimated total, £2.6m is to come from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
- A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road cycling and walking improvements – £1.4m
This project increases the connectivity on foot or by bike of communities near the newly built A6 MARR corridor, including Heald Green, Stanley Green and Bramhall. This includes a 1.4 mile shared walking and cycling path and three new crossings. As with all the Stockport proposals excepting the transport interchange bridge, it is to be wholly funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
- Hazel Grove and Bramhall link – £4.1m
Plugging a gap in the network between Bramhall Park and Hazel Grove, this project will provide over two miles of new safe cycle route protected from traffic on the A5143 Jacksons Lane/Dean Lane including two signalised junction upgrades, seven minor junction upgrades, new crossings for people walking and cycling, bus stop-bypasses and cycle parking.
- Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath crossing improvements – £700,000
Linking Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath, this package of crossings will improve local connectivity making local trips on foot and by bike more attractive. Includes four junction upgrades, two new crossings for people walking and cycling, 15 cycle parking spaces, two filtered neighbourhoods and one new access ramp.
- The Heatons cycling and walking improvements – £2.2m
This project will create quiet routes that will connect the communities of Heaton Chapel, Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey for journeys on foot and by bike. It will also link the Fallowfield Loop and the Trans Pennine Trail. This includes 1.9 miles of off-road paths, 12 minor junction upgrades, two signalised junction upgrades, new and upgraded crossings for people walking and cycling, modal filter points and cycle parking.
- Ladybrook Valley – Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall links – £800,000
This project will deliver a key missing link in the cycling and walking route in the Ladybrook Valley linking Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle. A 0.9 mile traffic-free cycling and walking path will be created as well as a ramp for access to Bramhall Park Road.
- Stockport interchange cycling and walking elements – £57m
Intended as a landmark new walking and cycling bridge spanning more than 100 metres, linking the rail station, the new bus interchange, and Mersey Square. The project will also create a traffic-free public square, new crossings for people walking and cycling and secure cycle storage.
The projected cost for the Stockport interchange project is in the region of £57m. The Mayor’s Challenge Fund will contribute £9m.
- Crown Point, Denton – £2.5m
Aiming to improve the experience at and close to Crown Point junction, this project includes a 0.6-mile segregated cycle lane, a 300m hybrid lane, one signalised junction upgrade, two parallel crossings, bus stop bypasses and cycle parking.
The project will cost in the region of £2.5m and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
- Wharfside and Trafford Park links – £2.8m
Focuses on enhancing the experience of key journeys across Stretford, Trafford Park, Old Trafford and Salford Quays. It will deliver 1.2 miles of segregated cycle lanes, 320m of shared use footway, two signalised junction upgrades, four parallel crossings and the conversion of a vehicular lane to a junction that works for people travelling on foot and by bike. It also includes cycle parking.
The Mayor’s Challenge Fund will contribute £2.7m.
- Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley cycling and walking routes – £14.6m
Promising to “revolutionise” the on foot and by bike experience in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley, this project aims to link town centres, businesses, retail and public transport hubs. It includes 24 new or upgraded crossings, 6.2 miles of segregated cycling lanes, 7.8 miles of shared road paths, 11.2 miles of shared use footway, 16 on-street mini-parks with seating, planting and bike parking, as well as improvements to the streetscape.
The Mayor’s Challenge Fund is to contribute £13.9m.
- Greater Manchester bike hire scheme
A proposal to initiate a project to bring forward a GM-wide bike hire scheme will also be considered by the GMCA on 29 March. Further details will be announced later this spring.
Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The 42 schemes that are now on the books are truly transformational. We’ll get a real bang for our buck here in terms of the positive knock-on benefits that will be made possible by this investment.
“Some of the projects, like the proposed active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, have been entirely community-led and driven; the idea for it started by its own residents. More trips on foot or by bike just happen to be a by-product of creating better places to live.”
Transport for Greater Manchester has also proposed an independent research project to investigate using European-style zebra crossings at minor side road junctions – as things stand in the UK, these markings are only permitted where Belisha Beacons and zig zag markings are also in place, and are thus more costly to implement.