Greater Manchester published its Cycling & Walking Investment Plan this week, a report called Change a Region to Change a Nation.
Their Bee Network is to be 1,800 miles of walking and cycling routes. It will cost £1.5 billion over 10 years, and return £4 of economic benefit for every £1 spent.
Key points from the report include:
- 30% of car journeys in Greater Manchester are less than 1km
- 77% of the population support building more protected cycle lanes
- design standards are to be set out in a Streets for All Design Guide, and will be extremely high – so a 12-year-old would choose to use the routes, and their parents would let them
- a comprehensive training programme has been set up and already begun for local authority officers and councillors
- there are to be activities to embed a culture of walking and cycling
- community engagement is preferred to top-down approaches in developing schemes, and TfGM has produced a best-practice consultation guide
In assessments of the economic benefits of transport schemes, walking and cycling achieve the best possible value for money rating, ‘a fact widely recognised and then equally widely ignored’.
The Bee Network is conceived as an active travel network that will be well thought-out and linked up.
The design standards are to be excellent.
‘Across Britain, hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent and continue to be spent on road “improvement” schemes which involve only painted cycle lanes to cater for cycling. Evidence now confirms this type of provision is often insufficient to make people feel safer. Recent studies show that in many cases, the white line approach can actually make people less safe.’