AN innovative new plan to create 81 miles of new cycling and walking routes has been unveiled by Tameside Council.
The plans, that includes Melbourne Street and Market Street, Stalybridge, are part of a new 1,000-mile network named ‘Beelines’ which will be the largest in the UK and has been developed with all 10 of the local authorities in Greater Manchester.
As well as the new routes, seven miles of Dutch-style segregated cycling lanes and 63 new or upgraded crossing points are being proposed to better connect every community in the district.
The proposals were announced by Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner Chris Boardman.
The plans also support Tameside Council’s Our Streets campaign, which is bringing the local authority and public together to create a cleaner, greener, safer borough.
Tameside Council executive leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “It’s vital that we reduce air pollution and help the population get fitter and healthier.
“These 81 miles of new cycling and walking routes across Tameside will give residents a cleaner, greener and safer option to enable them to leave the car at home and be more active.
“And they will link with a 1,000-mile long network that connects communities throughout Greater Manchester.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “I have no doubt that Chris Boardman and Tameside Council will do us proud and make journeys on foot or by bike the first choice for local trips.
“This will help to tackle congestion and poor air quality, as well as boosting people’s health and fitness levels.
“We have £160million to get us started and we have a plan that has something in it for every single person in Greater Manchester.”
Mr Boardman said: “I have been massively impressed by the political will of Tameside Council to come together to make this plan a reality.
“It’s not really about people using bikes and walking; it’s about making better places to live and work by giving normal people a real choice about how they travel. In doing so, we will make the city region healthier and more prosperous.”
Maps showing the proposed plans have been published on Transport for Greater Manchester’s website.
The plans represent the first iteration of the network that could be expected to be delivered over the next four years. A second iteration of the map will be published later in the year.
Mayor Andy Burnham made the decision in March to allocate £160 million of the government’s Transforming Cities fund to the project.
Further funding streams are currently being identified in partnership with TfGM and the 10 local authorities.
Further information on Beelines is available online: www.tfgm.com/made-to-move