British Cycling and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have formalised a long-standing partnership to help deliver the cycling strand of the region’s new ‘Great Manchester Moving’ blueprint, which aims to tackle the negative effects of physical inactivity.
The multi-agency initiative, which aims to save the NHS in Greater Manchester millions of pounds by inspiring people to get more physically active, was launched on Tuesday 7 July at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, the home of British Cycling.
The launch event saw TfGM and British Cycling seal the partnership with a combined pledge of over £400,000 to deliver an exciting range of new cycle initiatives through to March 2016.
The Greater Manchester Cycling Partnership will make it easier than ever before for people to get on their bikes with the offer of at least 4,000 free places on organised bike rides on more than 300 Sky Ride Local rides, Breeze rides and Ride Social rides organised by British Cycling across Greater Manchester.
Alongside the ride opportunities for all abilities, more experienced cyclists will be offered the opportunity to gain a formal cycling qualification by training as a British Cycling Ride Leader or Breeze Champion.
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: “Getting people cycling helps them to live happier, longer and healthier lives and also makes our towns and cities better places to live. This is a pioneering partnership which does great credit to all the organisations involved and marks Greater Manchester as an example for the rest of the country to follow.”
The Cycling Partnership is the first fruit of Greater Manchester Moving, instigated by regional charity, GreaterSport, and supported by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), Greater Manchester Association of Clinical Commissioning Groups, New Economy and Public Health England.
Greater Manchester Moving - key pledges
- Increase walking levels
- Increase the number of people cycling
- Increase running participation
- Create active environments
- Reduce social isolation through physical activity and sport
- Support and grow the physical activity and sports sector
- Support professionals and the wider workforce
- Develop social marketing campaigns
- Promote activity in the early years
- Demonstrate the impact of physical activity on reducing public sector spend and support the economic growth of Greater Manchester
- Maximise the NHS contribution to develop a more active Greater Manhchester
The ‘Greater Manchester Moving’ blueprint aims to inspire people to be more active through cycling and walking more, as well as taking part in sport.
Physical inactivity contributes to increased rates of chronic conditions including heart disease, type-two diabetes and high blood pressure, costing the NHS in Greater Manchester more than £35 million per year.
In the UK, physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability, with one in six deaths linked to insufficient levels of activity and exercise.
Across the city region, nearly half of all adults do not meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for physical activity and a third engage in less than 30 minutes of activity per week, while 20% of children are classed as obese, statistics worse than national averages.
Yvonne Harrison, Chief Executive of GreaterSport, said: “Launching Greater Manchester Moving signifies the start of a movement to increase levels of physical activity and sport among the people of Greater Manchester. Partners have committed to a collaborative way of working to influence people’s behaviour at pace and scale to help improve the quality of life for our residents.”
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, commented: “We’ve been working very closely with British Cycling for some time so it’s great to formalise that partnership in a way that will offer real benefits for people right across Greater Manchester.
“Cycling is already booming in the area, with TfGM investing more than £40m in over 100km of cycle routes and other infrastructure over the next three years. The partnership will help us reach out to even more people by offering fun riding opportunities that can lead to a healthy lifestyle change. Cycling is a great way to get active and the more people we can help get back in the saddle, the better.”
Find out more and have your say
Read more about the Greater Manchester Moving blueprint and join in the conversation on Twitter using #GMMoving.