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'Beelines' set to spread in Greater Manchester

Deniz Huseyin
27 March 2019

 

Plans for a ‘Beelines Network’ of cycling and walking routes across Greater Manchester will take another step forward if 18 schemes gain approval next week. This will take the number of endorsed schemes to 42, delivering 319 new and upgraded crossings and junctions and 70 miles of new cycling and walking routes.

If the latest schemes are approved by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the total value of cycling and walking related-projects across Greater Manchester will rise to nearly £204m. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has pledged £115m of the £160m received from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund for local transport improvements while £88m will come from local contributions.

Schemes being proposed include: a £10.7m cycling and walking corridor in Rochdale; a £11.6m route between Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations; a 100m cycling and walking bridge linking Stockport railway station with the proposed new interchange (pictured above); a £6.4m continuous cycling and walking corridor between Salford Quays and Manchester city centre; and a £2.5m ‘Mini Holland’ scheme in Levenshulme.

Work will get underway  after public consultations and planning permission has been obtained , with all the schemes due to be completed by 2023, said a Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) spokeswoman. Another tranche of schemes will be considered in the summer, she added. “The total number of schemes approved will depend on the quality of the bids.”

Investment in the schemes will represent around £18 per head per year on cycling and walking for the next four years, said the spokeswoman.

Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester’s people, along with the 10 districts, have made it pretty clear that enabling more local journeys to happen without cars as part of a wider public transport offer is what is required to support the city-region on so many fronts – congestion, air quality, creating healthier and more connected communities.”

Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The 42 schemes that are now on the books are truly transformational. We’ll get a real bang for our buck here in terms of the positive knock-on benefits that will be made possible by this investment.

“Some of the projects, like the proposed active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, have been entirely community-led and driven; the idea for it started by its own residents. More trips on foot or by bike just happen to be a by-product of creating better places to live.” 

TfGM is set to commission research to consider European-style crossings at minor side road junctions to improve safety and enhance the experience for people travelling on foot or by bike. Currently, zebra crossing-style markings are only permitted on UK roads where Belisha Beacons and zig zag markings are in place, which can cost around £30,000, said TfGM. It estimates that European-style crossings would bring the cost per side road junction down to around £500. 

Chris Boardman added: “The majority of European cities use zebra crossings at side roads to give a clear and simple message to drivers that they must give way to people travelling on foot. They are used in cities across the world and now we want to see if this approach can work in Greater Manchester. 

“If it can, and with help from Department for Transport, it will enable us to quickly and cheaply ensure that people are much better protected on every-day journeys including trips to school, to the shops, to work.” 

The 18 new proposed projects are:

Manchester
1. Active neighbourhood in Levenshulme - £2.5m
An active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, which includes a series of signalised and minor junction upgrades, parallel crossings, modal filters and investment in streetscapes to encourage local trips on foot or by bike.
Some £2.4m will come from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund with Manchester City Council contributing £100,000. 
2. Upgraded junction at Mancunian Way / Princess Road - £10.6m
Full junction upgrade where Mancunian Way meets Princess Road. The existing subways will be removed and protected cycle tracks will be created, as well as pedestrian paths and a signalised crossing. 
The full junction upgrade will cost about £10.6m, with £7.7m funded by local contributions and £2.9m coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, covering the cycling and walking elements. 
3. Rochdale canal improvements - £1.3m
The project includes improvements to the canal towpaths, improved access under a low bridge at Butler Street and improved accessibility to four sets of steps.
The project will cost about £1.3m and will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. 
4. Piccadilly to Victoria route - £11.6m
Project to enhance the on foot and by bike experience from Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Victoria stations, via the Northern Quarter. 
The project is expected to cost about £11.6m, with £1m from the Government’s Cycle Cities Ambition Grant funding and the remaining £10.6m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
Rochdale
5. Castleton to Rochdale town centre route phase 2 - £10.7m
To enhance the existing planned high-quality cycling and walking corridor which will link Rochdale town centre with Castleton. Phase 2 involves 0.7 miles of streetscape improvements, a 0.7 mile cycle street, five signalised junction upgrades and 0.6 miles of segregated cycling track.
The project will cost around £10.7m and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
Salford
6. Barton aqueduct – traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park - £5.3m
A new traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park, which includes reinstating a historic raised towpath across the Barton aqueduct, two new ramps, towpath widening and surface improvements. The scheme will link residential communities in Salford with major employment, retail and leisure opportunities in Trafford Park. 
The project will cost about £5.3m, with a £4.8m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £500,000 in local contributions. 
7. Liverpool Street cycling and walking corridor - £6.4m
A continuous safe link between Salford Quays and Manchester city centre. The project will deliver a 1.4-mile segregated cycle way, three major and 12 minor junction upgrades, six bus stop bypasses, five cycle parking spaces and public realm upgrades. 
The project will cost around £6.4m. It is being funded with a £3.9m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £2.5m in local contributions. 
8. Active neighbourhood in Ordsall - £2.8 million
The project aims to reduce car dependency and rat-running, as well as improving the experience of travelling to public transport hubs. It will deliver 10 junction upgrades, six new parallel crossings and 0.6 miles of light segregated cycle lanes, connecting the city centre with Ordsall riverside and Salford Quays. 
The project will cost about £2.8m, with a £2.6m contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £200,000 in local contributions.
Stockport
9. A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR) cycling and walking improvements - £1.4m
Better connectivity on foot or by bike of communities near the newly built A6 MARR corridor, including Heald Green, Stanley Green and Bramhall. This includes a 1.4-mile shared walking and cycling path and three new crossings for people walking and cycling.
The project will cost around £1.4m and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.
10. Hazel Grove and Bramhall link – £4.1m
This project will provide over two miles of new safe cycle route protected from traffic on the A5143 Jacksons Lane/Dean Lane including two signalised junction upgrades, seven minor junction upgrades, new crossings for people walking and cycling, bus stop-bypasses and cycle parking.
The project will cost about £4.1m and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. 
11. Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath crossing improvements – £0.7m
Package of crossings designed to improve local connectivity making local trips on foot and by bike more attractive. The project includes four junction upgrades, two new crossings for people walking and cycling, 15 cycle parking spaces, two filtered neighbourhoods and one new access ramp. 
The project will cost about £700,000 and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. 
12. The Heatons cycling and walking improvements - £2.2m?Quiet routes to connect the communities of Heaton Chapel, Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey for journeys on foot and by bike. It will also link the Fallowfield Loop and the Trans Pennine Trail. This includes 1.9 miles of off-road paths, 12 minor junction upgrades, two signalised junction upgrades, new and upgraded crossings for people walking and cycling, modal filter points and cycle parking. 
The project will cost around £2.2m and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. 
13. Ladybrook Valley - Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall links – £0.8m
A 0.9-mile traffic-free cycling and walking path will be created as well as a ramp for access to Bramhall Park Road.
The project will cost about £800,000 and will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. 
14. Stockport interchange cycling and walking elements - £57m
New walking and cycling bridge spanning over 100m metres, providing new walking and cycling route linking the rail station, the new bus interchange, and Mersey Square. The project will also create a traffic-free public square, new crossings for people walking and cycling and secure cycle storage. 
The projected cost for the Stockport interchange project is in the region of £57m. The Mayor’s Challenge Fund will contribute £9m, with £48m from local contributions. 
Tameside
15. Crown Point, Denton - £2.5m
The project includes a 0.6 mile segregated cycle lane, a 300 metre hybrid lane, one signalised junction upgrade, two parallel crossings, bus stop bypasses and cycle parking.
The project will cost around £2.5m and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. 
Trafford
16. Wharfside and Trafford Park links - £2.8m
This project focuses on enhancing the experience of key journeys across Stretford, Trafford Park, Old Trafford and Salford Quays. It will deliver 1.2 miles of segregated cycle lanes, 320 metres of shared use footway, two signalised junction upgrades, four parallel crossings and the conversion of a vehicular lane to a junction that works for people travelling on foot and by bike. It also includes cycle parking.
The project will cost about £2.8m with £2.7m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £100,000 in local contributions.
Wigan
17. Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley cycling and walking routes - £14.6m
This project includes 24 new or upgraded crossings, 6.2 miles of segregated cycling lanes, 7.8 miles of shared road paths, 11.2 miles of shared use footway, 16 ‘parklets’ as well as improvements to the streetscape.
The project is expected to cost about 14.6m with £13.9m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £700,000 in local contributions.
Greater Manchester
18. Greater Manchester bike hire scheme
A proposal to initiate a project to bring forward a GM-wide bike hire scheme will also be considered by the GMCA on 29 March. Further details will be announced in the Spring. 

 
 
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