A thousand miles of safe cycling and walking routes are to be created in Greater Manchester after an Olympic gold medallist persuaded town hall bosses to spend as much on cyclists and pedestrians as Amsterdam and other cycling nirvanas.
The network – named Beelines, in homage to Manchester’s civic symbol of the worker bee – includes 75 miles of Dutch-style segregated lanes and will be the largest joined-up network in the UK.
The plans, published on Wednesday, have a combined cost of around £500m and represent a first step in £1.5bn planned investment.
Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester’s mayor, has allocated £160m of the government’s Transforming Cities fund to the project’s first four years, bringing the total spend on cycling and walking in Greater Manchester to around £15 per head. This funding is at the levels seen in cycling Meccas such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam and higher than in any other UK city, according to Chris Boardman, the region’s walking and cycling commissioner.