Ambitious Manchester to Chorlton cycleway in the offing

Ambitious plans for a new Manchester to Chorlton cycleway are being proposed, Manchester City Council has announced.

The project, set to be delivered in partnership with Trafford Council and supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), will create a cycling and pedestrian-friendly route, with large sections of segregation between cyclists and other traffic, from Chorlton Park to Manchester.

Initial grant funding of £3.9m has already been allocated for the scheme from the Department for Transport and the city council is now working with TfGM and the Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Chris Boardman, to secure further funding – with the aim of delivering a greatly enhanced ‘exemplar’ scheme for the city region.

Subject to consultation, the proposed 5km route would run along Barlow Moor Road, Manchester Road, Upper Chorlton Road and Chorlton Road, linking with existing cycle facilities and on to the city centre.

The new cycleway will be designed using best-practice examples from other cities with an established cycling culture and will create better areas for cyclists to wait at junctions, with cycle lanes running behind parking bays in many locations.

Improvements will also be made to crossing points for cyclists and pedestrians along the route, as part of the proposed scheme.

The Manchester to Chorlton corridor is already one of the busiest for cycling in Greater Manchester and cycle usage rates in Chorlton are among the highest in the region.

Similar improvements carried out along Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road in Manchester in recent years have already seen a significant increase in cycle use in those areas and the proposed major upgrade to the Chorlton route would be expected to further increase take-up of cycling in Manchester.

A consultation on the scheme is set to be held in summer 2018, following the completion of designs. The consultation will allow residents, local businesses and other interested parties to have their say on the proposals.

Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment and skills Cllr Angeliki Stogia said: “The proposed Manchester to Chorlton cycleway is a major part of our work to create a network of safe, high-quality cycle routes, promoting cycling as a safer, more accessible option for as many residents as possible.

“Working closely with Chris Boardman and TfGM, we’ve identified the opportunity to secure further funding to allow the scope of the scheme to be widened. This would be a huge boost to our efforts to make cycling part of our culture – encouraging more residents to choose to cycle to their schools, shops, work and leisure, while also helping to reduce levels of noise pollution and improve air quality.”

Boardman said: “What was already set to be a good scheme could now be a game-changer that will lead the way and allow more school runs, work trips and leisure outings to be made without cars. Most importantly, it would make these journeys enjoyable rather than a chore.

“I can’t praise Manchester City Council highly enough for helping us set the bar high and aiming to bring forward a truly inspiring scheme. I look forward to working with councils across Greater Manchester to bring forward similarly ambitious projects.”

Cllr Brian Shaw, executive member for highways, parks and environmental services at Trafford Council, said: “This is great news and a huge improvement for cyclists using one of the city’s prime commuter routes. It is also an important step on the way to making cycling people’s preferred choice of transport for many more journeys in the area.

“We’re committed to encouraging people to come and enjoy the health benefits of cycling and creating a safe, easy-to-use route is essential if we’re going to convince them to leave their cars at home.”