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Routes form part of £42 million Cycle City programme

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has officially launched the first six cycleways under its £42 million Cycle City programme, and is encouraging people to switch to two wheels for their commute.

The six routes completed to date, formally launched yesterday, have been completed at a cost of £20 million, much of the cost met by the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition programme.

TfGM developed the routes in partnership with the five local authorities whose areas they pass through – Manchester City, Salford City, and the boroughs of Stockport, Tameside and Trafford.

Councillor Chris Paul, who is cycling champion on the TfGM committee, said: “We’ve got big ambitions for cycling in Greater Manchester and we’re already beginning to see more and more people getting around by bike.

“The incredible Olympics success of Team GB’s cycling team, based at the ‘Medal Factory’ National Cycling Centre in Manchester, will hopefully inspire more people to consider cycling for both work and leisure, and our aim is also to put Greater Manchester on the map as a great place to cycle, whatever your ability and wherever you’re looking to travel.

“Now that the first phase of the Cycle City programme is complete, we’re on the way to meeting our target of 10% of journeys in Greater Manchester being made by bike by 2025.”

The first six routes completed comprise:

Airport City Cycleway: connecting Timperley and Manchester Airport

Bridgewater Canal Cycleway: canal-side route linking Altrincham, Trafford Park and Manchester city centre

Broughton Cycleway: linking Broughton with Manchester city centre

Mersey Valley and Stockport Cycleway: connecting Stockport town centre with Cheadle and East Didsbury

Ashton Canal Cycleway: canal-side route from Ashton-under-Lyne to Manchester city centre

Wilmslow Road Cycleway: connecting Didsbury village and Whitworth Park.

Nick Brelsford, Sustrans Partnerships Manager for the North West commented: "These new cycle routes are a big step in the right direction to help Greater Manchester achieve its aim to make cycling a mainstream everyday form of transport.

"Wilmslow Road and Broughton Cycleway in particular demonstrate different types of high quality cycle design, which although not perfect, could work on a larger scale across the city region.

"We hope to work with TfGM to realise the vision for a healthier city with a consistently high quality cycle network that encourages more people to get out on their bikes."

Besides the cycleways, investment has also been made in upgrading cycle parking at locations including transport interchanges, workplaces and schools, as well as providing training to children and adults alike.

Under the second phase of the scheme, to be completed by 2018, £22 million will be used to develop additional routes as well as four cycle-friendly district centres, among other things.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.