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Transport for Greater Manchester hopes for 'Wiggo effect' boost to cycle commuting

Local transport authority highlights free cycle training on offer to first-time cyclists or those getting back in the saddle

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is hoping that heightened interest in cycling due to Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory will give a boost to its Commuter Cycle Project. The agency is encouraging those taking to two wheels for the first time, or getting back in the saddle after a break, will take advantage of the free cycle training it offers.

Manchester is of course home to British Cycling, while Wiggins himself lives in a village a little outside the boundary of Greater Manchester, which also encompasses urban centres such as Bolton and Wigan.

"What Bradley Wiggins has achieved is truly remarkable and, together with the Olympic Games about to get underway, many people will undoubtedly be inspired to rediscover the joys of cycling,” commented TfGM’s Transport Strategy Director, Dave Newton.

“But we appreciate that a lot of people may need a confidence boost to get riding again regularly.

"The great news is that we're here to help. We have fully qualified instructors available to give people a free, two-hour one-to-one session.

"They'll even come to you - daytime, in the evening or at weekends; you choose.

"They will coach you through real-life situations, both on and off the roads. They'll also be able to offer advice on route planning, confidence tips and how to get the most out of your bike.

He added: "Bradley Wiggins is an inspiration - and we're determined to use his historic achievement to create a legacy of even more people taking up cycling as a way of getting to work now and long into the future."

As reported on last month, Manchester City Council, working alongside TfGM and British Cycling, outlined its ambitions to become England’s leading city for cycling, including the possible launch of a bike-share programme along the lines of London’s Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.

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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WolfieSmith | 11 years ago

Now I live in Lancashire we could do with the Wiggo effect in Liverpool which is a perfect cycle city mired by council decisions which pedal the dream but don't deliver. The latest bike route linking the north of the city with the centre winds through a pretty poor detour when the main thorough fairs Derby Rd and the lower Dock Road have wide neglected and unwalked pavements which could easily be converted for cyclists. We do have a new outside velodrome at Huyton but it isn't going to get bums on saddles on the daily commute.

If anyone reading this is involved in the Smithfield or Manchester nocturne please get in touch regarding Liverpool. The ToB finished here in 2008 and showed what could be achieved. Our own nocturne around the Baltic Area of the city would put Liverpool back on the map as the UK's historical home of cycling.

notfastenough | 11 years ago

@phax71 - I've been waiting for the allez allez but not heard that one yet - you beat me to it!

@ghedebrav - don't worry, it won't last long. Normal service (road rage) will be resumed soon...

Ghedebrav | 11 years ago

It's fabulous that Manchester City Council and TfGM have ambitions this way, but I'm looking forward to the concrete action.

Two other observations:

a) I've seen a hell of a lot of cyclists wearing yellow recently.

b) I've seen a hell of a lot of cyclists full stop. Many more than usual on my commute - OK, so the weather's a bit nicer, but on the other hand the students have mostly gone home and yet there are seven, eight, nine cyclists at each traffic light (mostly, thankfully, stopping at them) Something's happening, I reckon.

Sudor | 11 years ago

Good Luck to TfGN

On monday morning I saw more bicycle shaped objects trailing garden shed dust along Lancashire roads than I'd normally see in a month of Sundays - if just 5% of them are still riding in a month it'll be a miracle but we live in hope.

If Wiggins is trying still to figure out what his win means then perhaps it maybe that this week is the first time that I've been on a training ride without the usual negative response from joe motorist.

phax71 | 11 years ago

I too have had the "Go Brad" or words to that effect this week ... and also a bunch of builders in a white van screaming Allez, Allez as I sweated my way up a fairly steep climb earlier this week too ...

Have to say its better than the usual banter/abuse thats hurled my way whilst on the bike ..

notfastenough | 11 years ago

Judging by some of the driver attitudes around Manchester, this education definitely needs to be double-sided.

Oh and weirdly, when some scallies passed me earlier, one shouted at me out of the car window: "go Bradley!"

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