'Dutch-style' cycle way planned between Chorlton and Manchester
- Planned 5km route designed to be friendly to cyclists and pedestrians
Route will go along Barlow Moor Road, Manchester Road, Upper Chorlton Road and Chorlton, linking with existing cycleways
Manchester to Chorlton corridor is one of busiest routes in Greater Manchester
A 'Dutch-style' cycleway is being planned to connect Chorlton to Manchester city centre.
Inspired by the established cycling culture from The Netherlands, the planned 5km route is designed to be friendly to both cyclists and pedestrians, with large segregated stretches between cyclists and other traffic.
The route wil go along Barlow Moor Road, Manchester Road, Upper Chorlton Road and Chorlton, linking with existing cycleways to take commuters into the city centre.
The Manchester to Chorlton corridor is one of the busiest routes in Greater Manchester, with Chorlton’s cycle usage rates among the highest in the region.
An initial £3.9m grant has already been allotted by Department for Transport with Manchester City Council, TfGM and Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, working to secure further funding.
Lead member of active travel for Manchester, Councillor Mandie Shilton-Godwin says she cannot wait for the new lanes.
“I think it’s got all kind of benefits for many of us in terms improved health and wellbeing." she said.
"Less traffic congestion in the long term. Of course, in the short term, while the cycle lanes are being constructed, there will be some disruption and that’s difficult and hard to manage, but, in the medium-to-long term, it’s just a brilliant thing.
"I cannot wait for it to be done!”
The expansion follows similar improvements along Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road, which saw the number of cyclists using the route double in the first year and double again in the next.
Tom Featherstone, 30, was a frequent commuter of the Oxford Road cycle lanes when he worked in Fallowfield. Now living in Chortlon, he is excited for the cycler lane network to be expanded.
“There is a certain level of reassurance with having one of those cycle lanes, but you’re probably trading one anxiety for another. You’re less likely to have cars encroaching on your space, but then pedestrians are another problem”, he said.
“Yet Chorlton seems to be an area of fairly low pedestrian traffic, so you’re not going to get people walking into the cycle lanes as often, which is good.”
While The Guardian’s North of England editor and cycling enthusiast Helen Pidd feels the Oxford Road improvements have been great, she wonders if the money could be better spent elsewhere.
“If I lived in North Manchester, I might ask why south Manchester is yet again getting an upgrade of its cycling facilities. Chorlton and Didsbury already have high levels of cycling compared with everywhere else in Greater Manchester.
"Might the money be better spent in areas where no one saddles up?"
A consultation on the scheme is set for summer 2018 following the completion of designs.