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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A New Way to Move in Tameside

Thursday, 26 July 2018

It has now been over a year since the first-ever elections for the Mayor of Greater Manchester, held as part of the transformative and wide-ranging devolution agenda. We're beginning to see how devolution, the ten local authorities working together with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the elected Mayor, is making a real difference to the city we all call home. From the good work undertaken to date by the Stalybridge Town Centre Challenge team, to holding the government to account for the appalling service and conditions on Northern railways, we’ve shown we now have a platform to map out Greater Manchester’s future in a new and powerful way.

There’s no other area where we want to make our mark more than in improving cycling and walking in our city, and with the help of Mayor Andy Burnham and former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman, we are beginning to do just that. This week the GMCA, of which I am one of the Vice Chairs, will greenlight 15 new routes for cycling and walking. These projects, which will be funded by the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund, will be but the first wave of investment in a masterplan to revolutionise the way people move around our city.

Across Greater Manchester, the program of work will deliver around 60 new or upgraded crossings and junctions, and 15 miles of new walking and cycling routes. This will include six miles of “Dutch-style” cycling lines, which will be entirely separate from cars and other motor traffic. Every local authority in Greater Manchester, from Bolton to Wigan, Salford to Stockport, will benefit from at least one project.

For Tameside’s part, we have submitted a proposed package of improvements throughout the borough, including the creation of “filtered” neighbourhoods where foot traffic is prioritised over cars, upgrades to traffic free routes and segregated facilities for bikes on major roads. The total cost is estimated at around £500,000, and work is due to start by the end of the year. All parts of the proposed plan, from the most ambitious of cycle lanes to a tweaking of some road markings, will be required to meet tough requirements on quality and design before it is signed off. If are we going to do this, we’re going to do it properly.

As is appropriate, the entire network of cycling and walking routes has been named the “Beelines” – after the worker bee that has come to represent Manchester and its industrial heritage. Once completed, it will be the largest joined-up system of walking and cycling routes in the UK, opening up every part of Greater Manchester to those who want to leave the car at home. And let’s be clear, reducing the amount of cars on our roads is absolutely part of the plan. Around 25 million car journeys of less than a mile are made per year in Greater Manchester. Air pollution, of which car exhausts are perhaps the major component, costs Greater Manchester approximately £1 billion and leads to the premature death of 40,000 people a year in Britain annually. The only way to begin to cut that down is by  showing that cycling and walking is not only encouraged, but that we have also made efforts to ensure that it is as convenient and as safe an option as possible.

The first draft of the Beelines plan can be found on the Mapping GM website here: The Transport for Greater Manchester website also has individual maps showing what they will mean for each local authority: All residents are invited to comment on the proposals before the end of September, which will be used to inform the second draft of the map to be published later in the year. The path to a whole new way of moving around Greater Manchester begins here.


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