A new partnership between Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and British Cycling will see the two organisations pledge over £400,000 for a range of new cycle initiatives in Greater Manchester through to March 2016. Announced at the National Cycling Centre this week, the Greater Manchester Cycling Partnership forms part of Greater Manchester Moving, a multi-agency initiative to promote physical activity.
Physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK, and it is estimated that it could be costing the NHS in Greater Manchester more than £35m per year. According to the Active People Survey of 2013, nearly half of adults in the area do not meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for physical activity, while a third engage in less than 30 minutes a week.
The Greater Manchester Cycling Partnership will see at least 4,000 free places made available on organised bike rides across Greater Manchester, while more experienced cyclists will be offered the chance to train as a British Cycling Ride Leader or a Breeze Champion.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said:
“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.”
Greater Manchester Moving is a joint initiative which will bring together regional health, sport, transport and local government organisations in a bid to collectively tackle physical inactivity.
Yvonne Harrison, Chief Executive of GreaterSport, the charity that instigated the project 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.”