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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

Leader's Blog  

Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Get Ready for the Tour of Britain

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Mont Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, Passo dello Stelvio. These are some of the most iconic cycling courses in Europe. Maybe in a few years, we’ll be able to put Werneth Low in that esteemed company as well.

That’s because the Tour of Britain, the UKs most prestigious cycling competition, is coming to Tameside. The eight day event will see some of the world’s most decorated cyclists compete on a number of courses across the UK. However, the final stage will take place right here in Manchester on Saturday 14th September. Starting in Altrincham and finishing in the heart of Manchester city centre in Deansgate, the 166km route will pass through Tameside around midday, working its way through Queen’s Trees at Werneth Low Road at around 12.10pm, Stalybridge at 12.20pm, Millbrook Village at 12.28pm before leaving Tameside via Greenfield at 12.35pm (all times are approximate).

This is a golden opportunity to showcase Tameside, so we want as many people as possible – residents, community groups, schools and businesses – to turn up to attend and celebrate the events. We’re also asking home and business owners living on the route to come up with ways to decorate it with hanging baskets, planters, painted bicycles and buntings. Some of the best examples have been publicised on the Council’s social media accounts, including this bicycle wheel made in Gee Cross and this bunting created by the pupils of Millbrook Primary in Stalybridge. It’s not too late to get involved if you want to help show the world what our borough has to offer.


Not that this will be the end of the cycling festivities in Tameside next weekend. The day after the Tour of Britain wraps up in Manchester, Stalybridge will host the first ever Tameside Bicycle Festival. Whether you’re a seasoned pedal-head or you’re just beginning to think about whether cycling might be an option for you, you’re welcome to Armentieres Square between 11am and 3pm on Sunday.  Visitors can have a go at an obstacle course, see some wheel art, and get hint and tips about cycling from a panel of invited experts. We hope that it will build on the enthusiasm created by the Tour of Britain to get more people to choose two wheels over four. 

But our work to promote cycling in Tameside is going much further than one weekend in September. At the end of last year we announced plans for the construction of 81 miles of new cycling and walking routes in Tameside as part of the ambitious Greater Manchester-wide “Bee Network” project. That’s been followed up at the beginning of summer with further plans on top of the currently existing schemes, including a 60 metre bridge near the Ashton West tram stop, high-quality paths across and along the A6043 Wellington Road/Albion Way corridor, and new cycling and pedestrian routes into and through the town centre. Construction on the Bee Network is expected to begin in spring next year, and once complete it will consist of 1,800 miles of new and upgraded routes and crossings, by far the largest system of its kind in the country. At the end of last month we also celebrated the opening up of a new access ramp to the canal towpath in Guide Bridge, Audenshaw, making it easier for residents to enjoy traffic-free transport into Tameside and Manchester.

These projects and many more will all bring us closer to the goal of making walking and cycling, instead of driving, the natural choice for moving around in Tameside and Greater Manchester. We’re bringing together the interest created by the Tour of Britain and the Tameside Bicycle Festival, with the infrastructure to help turn that interest into practical action. The benefits for our health in terms of increasing physical activity and reducing air pollution will be astonishing. Let’s enjoy this weekend, and then let’s get to work.


Posted by: Executive Leader