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Chris Boardman hails "a real step forward" as Stretford Cycleway opens (+ video)

Segregated route marks final Cycle City Ambition funding - but Bee Network investment continues

A major cycle route including segregated lanes has been completed in Greater Manchester as part of a £42 million investment into making the city-region’s roads safer for people on bike and foot. Ultimately, the 3.2 kilometre Stretford Cycleway will link to other routes forming part of the region’s Bee Network, championed by its Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Chris Boardman.

Besides the segregated lanes, the route, which follows Stretford Road and Talbot Road, sees improvements made to crossings and carriageway surfacing and the introduction of bus stop and parking bay by-passes, as well as cyclist-specific traffic lights.

Boardman said: “This is another great example of new, safe cycling infrastructure being delivered in Greater Manchester to encourage and empower people to get out of their cars and feel more comfortable making everyday journeys by bike or on foot.

“It marks a real step forward in terms of where we want to be, and more people on bikes will help to tackle both air pollution and congestion.

“But it is only the start, we will now be looking carefully at the junctions the scheme runs through to build on what has been delivered and ensure this route is integrated into the wider Bee Network, meeting our high standards and getting a full seal of approval.”

The project is the final one to be completed under the £42 million Cycle City Ambition Grant awarded by the Department for Transport in two tranches, the first, totalling £22 million, announced in 2013 and which together have resulted in more than 50 projects being built across Greater Manchester.

Other schemes constructed as a result of that funding include the Oxford Road and Wilmslow Cycleway, which has proved particularly popular with students and saw more than 1 million journeys made by bike in its first year.

Additionally, in 2018 Greater Manchester announced the launch of Beelines, which it says will create the largest network of cycling and walking routes in the UK, including 75 miles of Dutch-style segregated cycleways. Since renamed the Bee Network, the total anticipated spend on the project is £1.5 billion, and more details can be found here.

> Greater Manchester unveils ambitious plans for UK's biggest network of cycling and walking routes

Commenting on the launch of the Stretford Cycleway, Councillor Stephen Adshead, executive member for environment, air quality and climate change at Trafford Council said: “It’s great to see this new cycleway up and running for the people of Trafford and further afield, helping them to include more active travel in their daily routines, whether that’s walking or cycling the school run, a quick trip to the shops or as part of their commute to work.

“We’re keen to keep momentum going and develop more infrastructure to encourage active travel for our residents and this is only the start.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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