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Chris Boardman appointed Greater Manchester's first Transport Commissioner

Boardman has been working as the walking and cycling commissioner since 2017

Chris Boardman has been appointed Greater Manchester's first Transport Commissioner.

The former hour record holder was appointed by Mayor Andy Burnham after spending the past few years working as Cycling and Walking Commissioner.

In his new, expanded role, Boardman will continue to help facilitate the delivery of the Bee Network.

The Bee Network is intended to be the UK’s largest joined-up cycling and walking network.

It will hopefully deliver 1,800 miles of protected walking and cycling routes.

Boardman will attend the newly established 'Bee Network delivery board', which meets weekly, to ensure that the city-region’s plans stay on track.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “[Chris's] work and drive to make our city-region a global player to rival great places such as Copenhagen and New York over the last three years has been inspirational and I know he will apply this same vision in his new job.”

Boardman, 52, said: “Our vision for Greater Manchester was never just about delivering quality cycling and walking routes.

"While they are essential ingredients in making Greater Manchester a better place to grow up, get on and grow old, they are only a part of the solution.

"If we combine our plan for a world-class active travel network, with trams, buses, trains, taxis and private hire, we can give people everything they need to travel around the region without needing to drive.

"Crucially, that will also help us achieve our goal to be carbon neutral by 2038. Greater Manchester can lead the country in showing how this can be done."

Transport for Greater Manchester also published results from new research which has found that more than half of the residents (54 per cent) living in 'phase one', of the proposed cycle hire zone (which has an overall population of 198,000) would consider using the scheme when it launches.

Phase one of the cycle hire scheme will cover the regional centre, the Etihad stadium, Old Trafford, the Oxford Road cycling and walking corridor, Chorlton, Salford Quays and the University of Salford.

The research also showed that currently just 13 per cent of Greater Manchester’s residents cycle once a week and just 26 per cent of current cycle trips are made by women.

However, 45 per cent of those who said they will consider using the scheme are female.

67 per cent of those who would consider using the scheme said the inclusion of e-bikes would make them more likely to use it.

Boardman added: “All the data suggests the cycle hire scheme is likely to lead to a huge increase in the numbers choosing to get around by bike, especially women...

"I travel around the region every week, so I am one of the many that can’t wait to personally use the service.”

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