Study shows the best cycling routes in and around Greater Manchester

Gerald England / Geograph

A focus on alternative transport is high on the agenda as the UK eases out of lockdown.

Whilst buses, trams and trains are beginning to run more frequent schedules across the country, those returning to the workplace are still being encouraged to avoid public transport wherever possible.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has revealed that trams can only carry 10% of their normal capacity to maintain social distancing (which is even more challenging during peak times); urging customers to only use the Metrolink for essential journeys if possible.

This has led to an increasing number of commuters making the switch to cycling. But is it worth it?

To offer some insight, property company Essential Living has listed the busiest lines on the Greater Manchester tram network (pre-lockdown) and compared the travel times involved against cycling.

Essential Living

The table reveals that residents in Prestwich, Stretford, Chorlton and MediaCity who travel to the city centre for work would benefit most from swapping the Metrolink for two wheels.

Prestwich to Shudehill only takes seven minutes extra by bike; and you won’t need to pack in alongside the 4,000 others who take this tram line on a daily basis.

Stretford to Piccadilly Gardens is a similarly busy Metrolink route that’s only eight minutes extra when you cycle, whilst biking from Chorlton to Market Street adds just six minutes to your commute.

The MediaCity to Deansgate line carts around 3,600 passengers per day – but it actually takes the same amount of time to travel this route on two pedals as it does via track.

Essential Living

The statistics also show that before lockdown, 11,000 passengers would typically take the tram from Bury to Market Street on a daily basis – making this the busiest route on the network.

Altrincham to St Peter’s Square is also another particularly packed line – accommodating more than 9,400 people each day.

Cycling either of these routes would take substantially longer than travelling by tram – but still less than an hour (covering at least 13.5km in the process).

If you haven’t already embraced the bike trend sweeping Britain, take a look at the table to determine whether you’d benefit from choosing cycle routes instead of tram lines when you return to work.

It could be the best move until things get back to normal.

For more information on Essential Living, head to their website.

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