A new £85m cycling project has been outlined and will bring 55 miles of protected routes and 140 new crossings to roads across Greater Manchester by the end of 2021.
The project – which is dubbed the Bee Network and was first announced two years ago – is part of Olympian and Greater Manchester’s Cycling & Walking Tsar Chris Boardman’s master plan for the region and it will bring to life the “UK’s largest cycling and walking network”.
There will also be 25 miles of “temporary” changes, which could potentially be kept in place for the long-term should they be a hit with communities.
All of Greater Manchester’s 10 districts and boroughs will benefit from a total of 35 projects – with the first Bee Network signage to be installed by next summer – and they will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
Two new and exciting “low-traffic neighbourhoods” are also in the pipeline for Tameside and Trafford.
Speaking to the MEN about the plans for the project, Chris Boardman said: “I’m just so excited to see it happening at such a scale. At last we’ve got to a point were we can start meaningful delivery and 55 miles by the end of next year is some going.”
He also pointed out that boroughs have been spurred on by their experience in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, meaning that “global traffic was turned off” and people were allowed to use the streets differently. He added: “People showed that if they felt safe they would cycle and I think that’s given councils the confidence to accelerate this and realise this should be a part of our future and that enthusiasm is coming across and schemes are starting to move really quickly.”
Mr Boardman also stated that with 250m journeys in Greater Manchester every year covering less than a km, people feel like driving is “their only option”, but this new network will give them viable alternatives.
The project has been driven forward by public consultation and feedback, as well as local authorities.
Andy Burnham – Mayor of Greater Manchester Mayor – added: “By next summer we will begin to see the fruits of our labour and the region’s residents will finally have the chance to travel to shops and schools easily and safely without using a car.
“Today heralds the real start of our cycling and walking story.”
The 35 projects that will be delivered across Greater Manchester up to December 2021 are:
- £2.2m Bee Network crossings – A series of new and upgraded crossings at locations across Greater Manchester with initial crossings due to be completed during Winter 2020.
- £6.1m safety camera digitalisation.
- £7.1m bike hire scheme due to launch in Spring 2021.
What will this £85 million project mean for your area though?
Here’s everything you need to know.
- £3.25m Mancunian Way / Princess Road junction (due to be completed in Winter 2020) – 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.
- £2.2m Manchester to Chorlton beeway – Due to be completed in Spring 2021.
- The Upper Chorlton Road section of the Chorlton Cycleway, which will create a protected cycle route from Chorlton Park to Manchester city centre – This section completes the cycle link between the Brooks Bar junction and Seymour Grove.
- £2.2m Manchester to Chorlton beeway (completion date on consultation) – The Manchester Road to Barlow Moor Road section of the Chorlton Cycleway, which will create a protected cycle route from Chorlton Park to Manchester city centre. This section completes the cycle link from Seymour Grove into and through Chorlton district centre.
- £1.8m Manchester to Chorlton beeway (due to be completed in Spring 2021) – The Barlow Moor Road/Manchester Road section is the most southern part of the Chorlton Cycleway. It connects the Chorlton district centre to the National Cycle Route numbers 6 and 60, the Manchester Cycleway (Fallowfield Loop), and number 62 the Transpenine Trail.
- Beswick active neighbourhood (due to be completed in Summer 2021) – A ‘filtered neighbourhood’ to make roads in the area safer and more pleasant.
- £2m Beswick active neighbourhood – A ‘filtered neighbourhood’ to make roads in the area safer and more pleasant, subject to consultation.
- £10.5m Route 86: Northern Quarter – Piccadilly to Victoria beeway – A walking and cycling route through Manchester’s Northern Quarter, connecting Piccadilly and Victoria stations.
- £1.3m Rochdale Canal bridge (due to be completed in Autumn 2021) – 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.
- £7m Manchester Road Gateway (due to be completed by winter 2021) – Includes junction upgrades to create protected cycle tracks and crossings outside Bolton Station on Trinity Street and Bradford Street, and a contra-flow cycle lane on Newport Street.
- £2.2m crossing point and junction improvements to improve connectivity and safety for people travelling by foot and bike – expected to be completed by Winter 2021.
- £1.8m Elton beeway – will complete a pleasant and direct route from Bury to Radcliffe via the canal towpath – Expected to be completed by Winter 2021.
- £228,000 Union Street West bridge improvements (due to be completed in early 2021) – The bridge has already been the subject of a partial refurbishment and this project will see the refurbishment completed, providing a replacement bridge deck surface.
- £452,000 King Street bridge improvements (due to be completed in early 2021) – Complete refurbishment of an existing pedestrian and cycle bridge, providing a key link into Oldham town centre from a number of residential areas to the south.
- £612,000 Chadderton improvements (due to be completed in Autumn 2021) – Updated crossings and walking and cycling routes in Chadderton.
- £706,000 Royton town centre connections (due to be completed in Autumn 2021) – Improvements to cycling and walking facilities in and around Royton town centre.
- £4.6m Swinton Greenway – A traffic-free, off-road walking and cycling corridor connecting Swinton to Monton, plus lots of other links to connect communities into the route.
- £2.6m RHS Links – Improving the on foot and by bike experience in the area and improving access to the new RHS Bridgewater Garden, Parr Fold Park, Worsley College and Walkden Train Station.
- £1.1m Gore Street connection – Due for completion Autumn 2021.
- £500,000 Gilbent road crossing (due to be completed Winter 2020) – An enhanced crossing for people travelling by bike and on foot in Cheadle Hulme that will better connect residential areas, including access to Thorn Grove Primary School.
- £700,000 Offerton to Stockport beeway (due for completion Autumn 2021) – A continuous cycling and walking route from Offerton to Stockport town centre.
- £1.1m Hazel Grove upgrades (due for completion Autumn 2021) – A number of off-road routes to link communities and encourage walking and cycling.
- £800,000 Ladybrook Valley (due for completion Spring 2021) – Scheme to complete a ‘missing link’ of the continuous walking and cycling route through the Ladybrook Valley. The section is around 1.1km between Ladybridge Road and Bramhall Park Road, with an additional spur to Blenheim Road. The works will provide a surfaced route suitable for cycling, along a route which is currently a grassy footpath.
- £5m Heaton Cycle Links (due for completion in 2021) – A package of measures to create a series of quiet routes for pedestrians and cyclists between the Manchester Cycleway (Fallowfield Loop), and the Trans-Pennine Trail at Heaton Mersey
- £1.2m Cheadle Hulme Crossings Package (due to be completed in 2021) – The scheme includes three new signal crossings on busy roads in Cheadle Hulme.
- Tameside active neighbourhood – Phase One – which is due to be completed in Summer 2021 and includes improvements such as creating filtered neighbourhoods where people are prioritised over cars. Upgrades will also be made to traffic free routes and segregated facilities will be provided for bikes on more major roads.
- £1.7m Tameside active neighbourhood – Phase Two – Improvements which will include the creation of more attractive, safer and accessible routes for cyclists.
- Urmston active neighbourhood – Phase One – Due to be completed in Autumn 2021 and will improve the walking and cycling environment in the Urmston area. Interventions will be community and stakeholder driven and expected to include segregated cycle routes, new and upgraded crossings, improved signage, parklets, school street treatments, and collision reduction measures.
- Five junctions on Talbot Road – including the junction with Seymour Grove – which are due to be completed in Autumn 2021.
- £700,000 Standish mineral line – The project will deliver a 1.6 mile long traffic-free path for people travelling on foot or by bike serving new housing developments and providing new connections to link existing cycle schemes to future major segregated routes.
- £1.7m Victoria Street / Warrington Road junction (due to be completed in Autumn 2021) – Extends the innovative Saddle Junction cycle facility – which is under construction – to the southwest, with further high quality cycling and walking infrastructure connecting with Alexandra Park.
- £800,000 Leigh town centre to Pennington Park – The project includes a new bridge across the Bridgewater Canal to connect Leigh town centre at the Loom to new housing development to the south of the canal. There will be a new safe and accessible route to connect from the new bridge to the education, leisure and retail facilities at Leigh Sports Village and beyond to Pennington Flash.
- £1.3m Smithy Brook Road – This is an improved junction on the A49 that provides the connecting point for the new A49 Link Road and the planned M58 Link Road. The proposed scheme will improve traffic capacity on the network, as well as providing improved cycle and pedestrian facilities to enhance connectivity and maintain road safety for all users.
You can find more information via the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) website here.