25 new cycling and walking schemes worth a combined total of £154M are set to be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) as part of the continued development of the Bee Network.
The schemes up for consideration include 18 minor schemes, and five major schemes in areas including Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside, Stockport, Manchester and Trafford. In addition, there are also several schemes covering Greater Manchester as a whole - including one aimed at upgrading the national cycle network in key locations and another introducing special new Bee Network crossings.
The proposals are included in the latest update about the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund which will go to GMCA for discussion on Friday 29 November.
If approved, it would mean a total of 82 schemes will have been entered into the development pipeline for the Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF), with a total of £493M – around a third of the total funding package of £1.5bn forecast to deliver the Bee Network as a whole across Greater Manchester.
Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “We are working very closely with Local Authorities across Greater Manchester to identify key routes, develop new schemes and encouraging them to submit their bids.
“We have shortlisted 25 new schemes which will deliver huge benefits – making cycling and walking a real choice for many, improving people’s health and helping to tackle congestion and poor air quality. GMCA will now be considering them for programme entry.
“The Bee network will be transformational for Greater Manchester and will deliver real benefits for everyone. I believe the number and scale of the schemes we have now got in development really shows our commitment and ambition and we are determined to deliver.
The paper also provides an update on the 57 schemes that have already been approved for programme entry, as well as outlining how the Mayor’s initial funding commitment of £160M from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, will be prioritised and spent.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Cycling and walking will play a key role in our plans to rise to the climate challenge in Greater Manchester, as a part of a London-style integrated transport system.
The Bee Network will open up active travel for thousands of people who are currently trapped in their cars.
But, to make the Bee Network a reality, we need the Government to get behind it and help fund its continued expansion.”
The approved schemes already in the pipeline are made up of 12 major schemes (over £5M of funding sought) and 45 minor schemes (less that £5M of funding sought). So far, of the schemes, the first to be completed was the Muddy Mile, in Astley, Wigan along the Bridgewater Canal which launched in August 2019.
Work on Chorlton Cycleway, a major scheme providing a link to Manchester city centre, is now underway on the stretch between Chester Road roundabout to Stretford Road. This includes the creating of an innovative CYCLOPS junction at Royce Road and is expected to complete in March 2020, with further sections of the scheme undergoing design review following public consultation feedback.