Manchester Council announce £600k plan to transform city centre for cycling

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Manchester City Council has unveiled its proposed plans to transform several pedestrian zones and cycle routes throughout the city centre.

Council bosses are hoping to gain £600,000 from the government to fund schemes across the borough.

They are proposing to help residents travel on foot and by bicycle with more ease during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and in the long term by creating new pedestrian and cycle-only zones.

The council says it also wants to make “permanent improvements” to the city’s cycle network at 20 different locations and create “low-traffic filtered neighbourhoods”.

The plans follow the announcement and current project to designate part of Deansgate as a pedestrian and cycle zone, and widen pavements so that people have enough space to observe social distancing, along with the plans to revive Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter.

If the bid for funding is successful, the council has indicated that the first phase of work the would look to plug caps in the city’s cycle network, including Lower Mosley Street and Princess Road in the city centre, Stretford Road in Hulme, Albert Street in Beswick and Parsonage Road in Withington.

David Huxley

Speaking to the MEN about the unveiling of the proposed plans, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, the council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “Encouraging residents to travel on foot and by bike has long been a key priority for us, in order to help create a healthier, cleaner city.”

“In response to the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, we have already carried out significant amounts of work, including footway widening to support pedestrians to socially distance and the creation of a new pedestrian and cycle zone on Deansgate, but we want to do much more to improve the city’s cycling and walking infrastructure as quickly as possible.”

“Through this funding bid, we are seeking support for additional work which can be delivered in the short-term, but which also has the potential to secure longer-term benefits for people travelling across the city by bike or on foot.”

“We are hopeful of a speedy and positive response to our bid from the government, so that we can get moving urgently with schemes which will complement our significant existing investment in building a safer, greener transport network for Manchester.”

For more information on current cycling routes and pedestrian zones across the borough, please visit the Manchester City Council website here.

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