The recently revamped Kirklees Trail is proving more popular than ever, according to a new survey.
Figures show that usage of the trail has jumped by 45% in two years, according to Sustrans, the charity which promotes transport on foot, by bike and by public transport.
The route follows the dismantled railway line from Bury to Greenmount, and is officially National Cycle Network National Route 6. It has enjoyed a £1 million investment in the last two years, and the results appear to show how much it is appreciated.
Based on surveys, Sustrans estimates that 88,481 people (19,577 cyclists and 66,593 pedestrians) used the trail in 2010 – and in 2012, this had risen to 128,722 (35,243 cyclists and 84,705 pedestrians).
The statistics reveal that there has been a healthy rise in the number of trips made for education, shopping or commuting purposes. Almost all the rise is attributed to people aged 25-34 during school term-time.
There was a big rise in the numbers who “strongly agreed” that the route was safe and that they liked the surroundings. Other factors cited included being the most convenient route, the best transport option, it took you straight to your destination, and that it saved money.
When asked, there was a large increase in the percentage of people who said they intended to walk and cycle more in the coming 12 months, with nearly one-third now saying that the route would help them increase their level of activity.
Peter Green, Sustrans manager for Greater Manchester, said: “I’m delighted that so many local people are finding ways to incorporate physical activity into their everyday journeys; it’s good for their health and it’s good for the environment. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who funded the project and who helped Sustrans to make it possible.”
Greenmount resident David Williams said: “We are now able to walk and cycle into Burrs Country Park and Bury itself without having to use the main road, which we would never have cycled on. It opens up practical destinations, like the town centre and the supermarket. It is brilliant!”
And Councillor Jane Lewis, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, said: “All the investment into the Kirklees Trail has really paid off, and we hope that many more people will use the trail and enjoy Bury’s countryside as they walk or cycle into town.”
Press release issued:
Picture attached: Woolfold Viaduct.