City unveils plans for ‘world-class’ cycling and walking route

The £13.4million project has been designed based on best practice in the UK and Europe

Plans have been unveiled for a new five kilometre cycle and walking route

An ambitious new cycling and walking route for Manchester has been unveiled.

Details of the £13.4million project were revealed on Friday morning by Manchester City Council, who are seeking the public’s opinion on the plan.

The three-mile Manchester to Chorlton cycling and walking route has been designed using examples from across the UK and European cities, with the input of former Olympian Chris Boardman.

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Boardman, now a prominent campaigner and Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, said: “We want to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys, giving people the freedom not to have to drive.

“That means creating world-class streets where people want to socialise and relax.

“Some of the junction designs proposed are the most advanced yet that we’ve seen in the UK.”

He added: “Manchester City Council and Traffic Council deserve full credit for coming up with such an ambitious and appealing cycling and walking route.”

The route will feature Dutch-style segregated lanes for both cyclists and walkers.

The project is part of the ambitious 'Beelines' cycle network

Some junction details are still to be finalised, but Manchester City Council has put the plans out to public consultation, which closes on January 11.

The council’s executive member for environment, planning and transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “Lot’s of people have said that they want to walk and cycle more in Manchester and we present this scheme for consultation, as part of our ambition and absolute determination to create a new network of high-quality, safe cycling routes across Manchester.”

Chris Boardman had a major input in the design process

Cllr Stogia added: “This is already a very busy corridor for cyclists, but the proposed upgrade will make the route much safer and more appealing, encouraging many more people to adopt cycling and walking as their preferred modes of transport.

“Developing better cycling and walking routes is key to our aims of improving local air quality, reducing traffic congestion and encouraging more active travel choices.”

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The route will form part of Manchester's huge new £1.5billion cycling and walking masterplan that was unveiled earlier this year.

‘Beelines’ will be the UK’s longest complete network for riders and pedestrians, made up of more than 1,000miles of routes, and 75 miles of segregated cycle lanes.

Cllr Stephen Adshead, executive member for environment at Trafford Council, said: “Local air quality and reducing our impact on climate change is really important to making Trafford a great place to live, work and relax.

“The provision of a better and improved cycle and walking route will give residents the opportunity to easily commute in and out of the borough whilst reducing their CO2 emmissions.”

The Manchester to Chorlton route was designed by the Transport for Greater Manchester walking and cycling team, alongside award-winning Manchester City Council engineers.

No timescale for the completion of the route has been given.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.