Greater Manchester is to triple spending on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to £205m, including building 14 miles of Dutch-style cycle lanes that are protected from motor traffic. The Bee Network will see the northern city almost match London levels of spending on cycling and walking as it seeks to cut air pollution and obesity levels. The plans, drawn up by Olympic medallist Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s cycling commissioner, are expected to be approved by the leaders of the area’s 10 boroughs next week. The budget is an increase of £137m from the £68m already allocated from existing government and council spending. It represents about £18 per head per year. London spends £17 per head on cycling alone, as does Denmark, while the Netherlands commits £24 a head. The network includes 70 miles of new cycling and walking routes across the city, with 14 miles of the Dutch-style lanes. There are 42 separate projects; 319 new and upgraded crossings and junctions will make safer for cyclists and pedestrians to cross. Work will begin after planning permission has been obtained and public consultations conducted. Officials said they hoped all the construction will be under way by 2022. The most popular route is likely to be a £11.6m segregated path between Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations in the city centre. There will also be a 100 metre high cycling and walking bridge linking Stockport railway station with a proposed new bus station. Some £10.7m will go on a cycle and walking corridor in Rochdale and £14.6m to make streets around Leigh more cycle friendly.
FT 22nd March 2019 read more »