The latest scheme from Tameside is part of the 1,800 Bee Network proposal which will create 2.5 million daily active trips and£6 billion in benefits across Greater Manchester.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Cycling and Walking Commissioner are calling on Government to back ground-breaking plans for UK’s largest walking and cycling network, cutting congestion and air pollution across the city-region and helping people make 2.5 million journeys every day on foot or by bike.
Andy Burnham and Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman are today announcing the publication of a new report, titled ‘Change a Region to Change a Nation’, which will be delivered to Westminster next month to make the case for the government backing needed to deliver the wide-ranging plans.
The foundation of the plan is the Bee Network, which will provide 1,800 miles of protected space for cycling and walking and has seen over 80 further schemes approved for development. One of these schemes comes from Tameside and amounts to £2.1m. The scheme will be the second stages of the A57 corridor and will link the town centres of Denton and Hyde by a segregated cycle route, creating a continuous, safe route and also linking in with other Beeways to open up the Network in Tameside. Combined, these measures will allow children to walk or ride to school safely – giving people the option to leave the car at home.
The report, jointly commissioned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Mayor, details the impact that Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking network is projected to have over the next 10 years, including:
- A 350% increase in daily cycling trips, from 100,000 to 450,000
- An increase in daily walking trips by a third, from 1,480,000 to 2,050,000
It is also projected that the change in travel culture will bring huge benefits to the city-region in several key areas, including:
- Air quality: Up to 130,000 fewer daily private car and taxi trips (735,000 less vehicle kilometres driven)2
- Congestion: Reduce traffic by as much as 10% and improve some journey times by up to 50%3
- Health: A £6.73 billion boost by improving the city-region’s health and reducing the cost to the NHS4
So far, in total Tameside has 11 schemes in development, which will be delivered as part of the Bee Network over the next ten years. The 11 schemes are made up of a number of Active Neighbourhoods, dedicated cycle routes linking key areas across the borough such as Denton Crown Point shopping facilities, as well as improved connectivity into and across the town centre in Ashton, continuing to build on the improved public realm to encourage more cycling and walking.
All of Tameside’s planned schemes will be presented to the public in February online and through a number of public events for feedback that will help shape the final plans.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester is creating the blueprint for a real culture change in the way people travel.
“Our city-region’s 10 districts have been working on these plans since 2017 and crucially, residents have helped to develop them, based on what they want their neighbourhoods to look like.
“Now we have a world-class plan and we know how to deliver it, but we cannot do it alone. We need the Government to back us with sustained funding over the next ten years to enable us to complete the Bee Network. If they do so they will be helping create a model that can be replicated across the rest of the country.
“Put simply, if they help us change our city-region, we can help change the country too.”
Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Chris Boardman, said: “With one in three car journeys in Greater Manchester being less than 1 kilometre, it’s clear we have to change. It’s impacting our air, our health, and the place we’re expecting our children to grow up, get on and grow old.
“All 10 Greater Manchester councils have taken on this challenge and they’ve already started transforming ambition into action. But without guaranteed government investment, we are hamstrung. To revolutionise travel across a whole city region we’re asking for the same financial backing over a ten-year period as it’s costing for a single junction improvement scheme in Bedford. I know which will return the best investment – not only for our city-region but the nation as a whole.”
Tameside Council Executive Leader Councillor Brenda Warrington said: “We’re committed to doing all we can in Tameside to provide cleaner, greener and safer travel options. These innovative walking and cycling schemes will enable more people to travel on foot or by bike, providing a real alternative to the car and supporting our overall plans to improve air quality and help our residents keep fit and healthy.”
To view the report and to find out more about the Bee Network, visit https://tfgm.com/made-to-move/publications.