1,500 ‘Bee Bikes’ to be rolled out across Greater Manchester from autumn
The first phase of the cycle scheme will see bikes appear at 200 docking stations across Manchester, Trafford and Salford.
‘Bee Bikes’ fitted with tap-in technology will be rolled out across Greater Manchester from November 2021.
A local cycle hire system – where e-bikes can be booked and accessed via an app – is being introduced later this year, as plans for the city-region’s Bee Network push ahead.
1,500 bikes will appear at 200 docking stations across Manchester, Trafford and Salford during the first phase of the roll-out, before being introduced across further boroughs.
Transport Commissioner Chris Boardman said that over 100,000 local households will live within a 5-minute walk of a Bee Bike docking station.
Beryl has been selected by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) as the delivery partner to design, deliver and operate the cycle hire scheme.
Demand for cycling is on the rise in Greater Manchester with trips up 20% on the long-term average, according to TfGM. Research also showed that just 16% of people living in flats have access to a bike.
Bee Bikes will form part of Greater Manchester’s wider Bee Network – a 10-year, £1.5 billion plan to create 1,800 miles of walking/cycling routes in the city-region.
A Clean Air Plan has been announced this week – which aims to launch a “green revolution” across all ten boroughs backed by over £120 million in funding.
Money will be used to help local businesses upgrade to cleaner vehicles that meet the compliance requirements of an upcoming Clean Air Zone – which will stretch right across the region.
Under new plans, vehicles including vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private-hire vehicles and lorries will need to meet emission standards or risk a charge. HGVs, buses and coaches must pay £60 a day to drive within the zone. Vans will have to pay £10 and taxis and private hire vehicles and must fork out £7.50. Failure to do so may result in a £120 fine.
Charges for larger vehicles travelling through the Clean Air Zone may be enforced by next May, whilst car drivers will be affected from May 2023.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “The fact is that air pollution is not a problem that is going to go away on its own.
He added: “Our Clean Air Zone is only one piece of the jigsaw. We’re also fully integrating our public transport system – the Bee Network – and building the UK’s largest cycling and walking network.
“Our cycle hire will be one of the largest docked systems outside London and I cannot wait to use the new bikes myself as a way to get from A to B.
“We’re making huge strides towards our plans to build back greener and be carbon neutral by 2038.”
Transport Commissioner Boardman added: “Today is a major milestone for the city-region – not only do we have a solid plan to make vehicles on our roads cleaner, we’ll soon be bringing cycle hire to our streets – providing a healthy, convenient, non-polluting transport option for tens of thousands of people.
“Together with our plans for hundreds of miles of cycling and walking routes by 2024, we are building a truly world-leading sustainable transport system.”
Featured image: TfGM
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Read more: The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 26 September – 2 October 2022
The Learn to Play ’22 event is generously supported by the NAMM Foundation and other partners include Music Industries Association, Musicians Union, Making Music, Music Mark and Black Lives in Music.
Those interested in joining Forsyths for a free music lesson simply need to email [email protected] or pop into the Sheet Music department on the ground floor to register interest.
Feature image – Forsyth
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
“She will be greatly missed.”
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.
Featured Image – 4th Estate Books