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Manchester welcomes Bee Network funding boost for new cycling and walking schemes

Manchester City Council is today (Friday 22 March) welcoming the announcement of plans for new funding to radically improve the city’s network of cycling and walking routes.

Pending approval from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities next week, £17.2m will be provided from the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Challenge Fund for investment into in four major projects, ranging from improvements to the Rochdale Canal at Newton Heath to a community-led transformation of roads in Levenshulme.

The four Manchester projects are:-

1. Active neighbourhood in Levenshulme - £2.5m

The community-led creation of a “Mini Holland” - an active ‘filtered’ neighbourhood in Levenshulme, which aims to be the most cycling and walking-friendly area in Greater Manchester.  The project includes a series of signalised and minor junction upgrades, parallel crossings, traffic filters and improvements to the look and feel of local streets, connecting community centres, GP surgeries and schools to create a better, safer environment for trips on foot or by bike.  Residents from the Levenshulme Bee Network group have led on the development of proposals for this £2.5m scheme, which will be financed through a £2.4m contribution from the GM Mayor’s Challenge Fund, plus an additional £100,000 from Manchester City Council.

2. Upgraded junction at Mancunian Way / Princess Road - £10.6m

This project involves a full upgrade of the junction of the Mancunian Way with Princess Road.  The existing subways will be removed and protected cycle tracks will be created, as well as pedestrian paths and a signalised crossing.

The full junction upgrade will cost in the region of £10.6m.  £7.7m will be funded by local contributions, with £2.9m coming from the GM Mayor’s Challenge Fund to cover the cycling and walking elements.

3. Rochdale Canal improvements - £1.3m

The project involves upgrades to the Rochdale Canal corridor from the City Centre at Great Ancoats Street to Newton Heath, linking existing and developing communities. This includes surface improvements and upgraded lighting to the canal towpath, improved access under a low bridge at Butler Street, Ancoats and improved accessibility to four sets of steps.  The project will cost around £1.3m and will be funded by the GM Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

4. Piccadilly to Victoria route - £11.6m

 A new cycling and walking route creating a dedicated corridor between the two main Manchester railway stations - Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Victoria - will be delivered with a host of public realm improvements for the city centre, including making Stevenson Square and Thomas Street more pedestrian and cycling-friendly.

£1m for this scheme will be contributed via the Government’s Cycle Cities Ambition Grant funding and the remaining £10.6 million is to be provided by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This proposed funding would provide a major boost to our plans to create a world-class network of walking and cycling routes right across Manchester.  

“We know that many of our residents want to walk and cycle more and a new network of high-quality, safe routes will encourage more people to do just that.  As citizens increasingly travel by bike or on foot, we will see less traffic congestion on our roads and experience better local air quality, which will help to make Manchester a healthier city.  

“This important work is also a big part of our strategy to meet our goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2038.  We are looking forward to engaging with local residents and businesses who are vital in helping us shape the proposals for these exciting new projects, which are the latest - and by no means the last - that we intend to bring forward for the city.”

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