The bid to get more people on bikes in Greater Manchester has been backed by Chris Boardman MBE. has a £4.9 million plan to improve services and facilities for commuters using bikes to get to work.
The money, from the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, will provide more than 1,000 secure cycle parking spaces at a series of new cycle centres across Greater Manchester.
The first centres are due to open next year and will be places where commuters can have access to secure storage for their bikes and gear and shower and change before work.
Alongside this, a programme of local cycle information and training will also be offered to break through the barriers that currently hold people back from commuting by bike.
Chris Boardman said:
“Cycling is becoming more popular not just as a sport but as a simple means of getting about and there’s a real sense that attitudes and perceptions are beginning to change.
“But there’s still a long way to go, and a lot more work to be done, before people are able to make cycling their preferred choice.
“There is not just one reason why more people might not want to go by bike so all the initiatives in the programme will help in some way, getting more and more people onto their bikes when making that daily commute. This is in line with one of British Cycling’s over-arching aims of getting more people riding their bikes more often. I'm particularly pleased this initiative is being launched in the home town of the Great Britain Cycling Team."
Chris was speaking at TfGM’s Piccadilly Place head office where he was on hand to support employees taking part in a fund-raising virtual bike ride from Manchester to London, using the same static training bikes used by British Cycling athletes.
The ride, in aid of Children in Need, will use relay teams to complete 15-minute sessions on the bikes throughout the day. The aim is to show how short, commuter-type journeys can accumulate to make a real difference.
Transport for Greater Manchester wants to encourage people to include “active travel” – cycling and walking – in their choices for getting around.
In July this year it successfully bid for a £4.9 million package of funding to deliver a range of improvements around cycling facilities and services.
As well as the cycle centres, other elements of the package include road skills for cyclists, bike maintenance “courses”, online resources and help for commuters to find a cycle-friendly route to work.
A specific “Bike Back to Work” scheme will also be launched, reflecting the importance of helping more local people to get back into work, and also offering people looking to find work the chance to borrow a bike for a trial period to help extend the distance that they can travel to a job.
Looking ahead TfGM will be submitting a further bid to government in December seeking funding to help introduce more cycle routes adding to the range of facilities provided to encourage more cycling.