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New £13.4m Manchester cycle lane kickstarts Boardman's infrastructure revolution

Joe Robinson
16 Nov 2018

Planned 5km path from Manchester to Chorlton enters consultation phase and promises to give cyclists and walkers priority

Plans have been unveiled for Manchester's forthcoming flagship cycle route, the first phase of Chris Boardman's 1,000-mile cycling infrastructure plan for Greater Manchester announced earlier this year.

Unveiled at a public consultation today, the cycle lane will run will account for 5km of plans, running from Manchester to Chorlton and give cyclists and pedestrians priority over cars at key junctions along the route.

The cycle lanes will be a mixture of segregated paths and marked lanes and the their creation will involve major changes at various junctions to introduce priority crossings for both cyclists and walkers.

This particular stretch, one of many 'Beelines' proposed earlier this year by Boardman, is expected to cost £13.4 million with consultation on the project running until 11th January.

In June, Boardman and Manchester mayor Andy Burnham revealed plans to invest £150 million in walking and cycling infrastructure for the city and its surrounding areas, including 1,000 miles of cycle route and at least 75 miles of segregated cycle lanes in a bid to change Manchester's primary mode of transportation. 

'We want to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys, giving people the freedom not to have to drive. That means creating world-class streets where people want to socialise and relax,' Boardman said in announcing the plans today.

'Some of the junction designs proposed are the most advanced yet that we’ve seen in the UK. Manchester City Council and Trafford Council deserve full credit for coming up with such an ambitious and appealing cycling and walking route.'

Assuming it is approved, the Manchester-Chorlton route will be the first major cycle route to be built from the project which aims to benefit '2.7 million people and make cycling and walking a real alternative to the car'. 

The timing of the news of major financial investment in the project is particularly welcome, coming just two weeks on from the announcement of the national Budget, in which the government pledged £28 million to the development of new roads, including £420 million for fixing potholes, without setting money aside for improved cycling infrastructure.

A move that Sustrans policy director, Steve Brooks, described as 'a budget that continues to lock Britain into a polluted, congested future which in the long-run will cost the country billions.'