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​New £6.8m cycling and walking scheme for Bury – but Government cash is needed

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​New £6.8m cycling and walking scheme for Bury – but Government cash is needed

Bury announces three new walking and cycling schemes as leaders urge critical Government backing to deliver the UK’s largest cycling and walking network.

The latest schemes from Bury are 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.

Three of these schemes come from Bury and amount to £6.8m. The schemes include the creation of links from residential and employment areas north of the River Irwell into Radcliffe town centre, as well as the completion of a direct canal route from Bury to Radcliffe.

The Pimhole Neighbourhood Bee Network scheme will develop a network of walking and cycling routes between Pimhole, Bury town centre and the Pilsworth Industrial Estate, including new/upgraded crossing points, 20mph zones, traffic calming and filtered neighbourhood features.

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)
  • Congestion: Reduce traffic by as much as 10% and improve some journey times by up to 50%
  • Health: A £6.73 billion boost by improving the city-region’s health and reducing the cost to the NHS

So far, in total Bury has five schemes in development, which will be delivered as part of the Bee Network over the next ten years.

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.”

Councillor Alan Quinn, Bury Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “These are important schemes which will bring long-term benefits for the environment and for people’s health, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

“The Government has told us that northern towns are vitally important, and they are going to rebalance spending from the south to the north. Meanwhile, 29% of the nation’s transport budget goes to London, but the North West only receives 9%.

“We’re told that austerity is over, so it’s time for no more rhetoric – we need deeds, not words, and the Government now has to commit to giving Bury the investment it needs.”

To view the report and to find out more about the Bee Network, visit https://tfgm.com/made-to-move/publications

ENDS

Press release issued: 28 January 2020.

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Bury Council consists of six towns, Bury, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich. Formed in April 1974 as a result of Local Government re-organisation it was one of the ten original districts that formed the County of Greater Manchester. The Borough has an area of 9,919 hectares (24,511 acres) and serves a population of 187,500.

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