Manchester will receive a share of £1.5 million for “mini-Holland” feasibility studies, to assess the safety of new pedestrian and cycle-friendly areas with the aim to bring the city in line with Dutch equivalents.
The UK government has recently stated their up-and-coming plans of introducing a new cycle scheme in local authorities such as Hull, Nottinghamshire and Manchester. This scheme aims to boost air quality and people’s physical and mental health.
These cycling plans are part of a wider £2bn commitment seeking to increase active travel and will be spread across 134 ambitious projects. The government has also stated its concerns over climate change and hope the initiative welcomes in a new low-carbon infrastructure alongside growing local economies.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison commented, “Active Travel England will be working hard to create a new golden age of walking and cycling, enabling everyone to reap the benefits of amore active lifestyle, creating streets where children can play and making nicer places to live.”
The north has seen a change over the last couple years with the introduction of both recreational and commuting cycle lanes and this plan aims to extend them. Called the ‘travel corridor’, new junctions, pedestrian crossings and segregated cycle lanes will pop up across the north in cities like Liverpool and Manchester. These high-quality cycle routes are expected to also benefit motor vehicle drivers by reducing traffic.
Manchester will also benefit from a slice of a £35million investment improving the National Cycle Network, a UK-wide network of path and routes created for walking and cycling- which is independently managed by charity Sustrans.
Alongside the government’s plans follows an £8million investment from Department for Transport during 2022-2023. This offers free e-cycle loans in pilot areas across England. One of these 5 pilot areas happens to be greater Manchester.
Cycling in the UK will become a little easier with the investment allowing an e-cycle loan that will last up to 3 months. The initiative aims to dispel myths and reinforce awareness of e-cycles. For one, they have a positive effect on the public, allowing easier journeys and providing aid to those who may need assistance.
Cycling minister Trudy Harrison noted, “E-cycles are a great way for people with longer or hillier journeys to travel and the £8 million we have provided for this scheme will help make cycling the natural first choice for many journeys – a key Government commitment from the Prime Minister’s Cycling and Walking plan.”
With governmental support for the general public and plans for a low-carbon Manchester, it seems like now is the time to invest in the northern city. With the plans to benefit the greater public, the city may see increasing demand for properties as communities gravitate to the city for a healthy lifestyle previously only able to be found in the countryside.