Manchester cycling infrastructure

Manchester is investing heavily in its cycling and walking infrastructure as part of the proposed Bee Network project

In June last year, Chris Boardman announced plans for over 75 miles of segregated cycling and walking routes around the Greater Manchester area, which would make it the largest such network in the UK.

What is the Bee Network?

The Manchester Worker Bee has become a proud symbol of hard work and unity for the people of Manchester, and now it heads up the cycling and walking infrastructure proposal of Chris Boardman.

The Bee Network, formerly called Beelines, is a fully segregated network of cycle lanes involving all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities, including those in Wigan, Oldham and Stockport. Each of these authorities took charge of creating their own plans to develop the network.

The proposal includes plans for over 75 miles of segregated cycling and walking routes, and 1,400 new crossings which will connect every community and make travelling safer for those in Greater Manchester. The proposed plans will incorporate quite routes, leading to the creation of a network spanning more than 1,000 miles of road.

The use of segregated cycle lanes on busier roads combined with quieter routes will help to make commuting by bicycle much safer and more convenient for the people of Greater Manchester.

New Developments

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is meeting this week to consider 18 new cycling and walking schemes with a total value of £137 million as part of the Bee Network. This will represent the single biggest investment in cycling and walking in the region and will bring the total spending to around £204 million on cycling and walking related projects.

One of the main projects to be considered this week is the building of a new walking and cycling bridge in Stockport. This bridge will span over 100 metres and will provide a safe route to get from the rail station to the new bus interchange.

Another big proposal is a cycling and walking route to be considered will be between the Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Victoria train stations, cutting right through the heart of the Northern Quarter. This may be advantageous to commuters, especially with the rise in cycle hire schemes around the city.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor or Greater Manchester believes has said “This is a hugely exciting time for Greater Manchester – we’re just at the start of a process that will see us eventually compete with some of the world’s best and most liveable cities like Vancouver, Copenhagen and New York City.”

These developments are aimed at reducing air pollution and creating a healthier community, and will hopefully mark the first step in making UK cities more cycle friendly.

What are your thoughts on the Bee Network? Would you like to see something similar in your area?
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