EIGHTY-FOUR per cent of regular bike users in Manchester believe that safety needs to be improved on the cities roads.

The statistics come from the recently released ‘BikeLife’ survey. It is the first of two being conducted by Sustrans; the second will come in 2017.

Manchester is investing in new cycle paths around the city starting with Oxford Road, where a new ‘Dutch’ segregated path has been installed near Whitworth Park back in September. Work is going ahead on another 13 lanes.

Cycle lane in Manchester
The new ‘Dutch’ style cycle lane close to Whitworth Park in Manchester

Dee Ashcroft, 29, a care worker, told the Manchester Evening News: “I think it’s amazing. At the moment the roads are just set up for cyclists so it’s good to see we’re getting there.”

More recently, however, cyclists in Greater Manchester were let down in the Autumn Statement by George Osborne.

The Chancellor may have adopted Manchester as his ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project, but still announced a poor £300m in his budget on November 25 to be spent on cycling ‘outside of London’.

Cyclists in Manchester
Two riders pass each other on an existing segregated cycle path in Manchester

Osborne was rumoured to announce plans for a £150m investment into a northern ‘Oyster Card’. This would take the budget’s predominance away from cycling, and on to public transport.

Greater Manchester will now only receive close to a £10m budget for the year compared to London who will receive £1bn over the next 10 years, despite having received significant investment already since Mayor Boris Johnson introduced schemes such as the ‘Santander Cycles’.

The city, home to British Cycling, is still yet to get it’s own hire bike scheme either, even fellow North West city Liverpool has their own ‘Citybike’ scheme.

National Cycling Centre
The National Cycling Centre in the Velopark in Manchester first opened in 1994

71 per cent of Salford residents believe cycling would make the area a better place, one of the highest figures against other areas in Greater Manchester.

Oxford Road already boasts a segregated cycle lane that ran to the universities. However the rest of the city, predominantly the city centre and Salford, are struggling for investment.

Bicycle in Manchester
A cyclist passes a chained up bike near Manchester University

By James Gaukroger

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