Active travel: Manchester residents asked for views on walking and cycling as council launches consultation

The local authority wants to know what people think about greener forms of getting from A to B in the city.

Manchester residents are being asked for their views on walking, cycling and wheeling in the city after the council launched a new active travel consultation.

Manchester City Council says it has been working on encouraging greater numbers of people to ditch the car for environmental reasons for some time and emphasised that changing travel behaviour is a key part of its strategy to get to net zero.

Now the town hall says it wants people’s thoughts and views about the subject as well as their feelings on getting from A to B across Manchester. It is hoped that this will put residents’ opinions on active travel at the centre of its policies as well as helping to identify and tackle barriers to getting about on foot or on two wheels.

What is the consultation that has been launched about and when is it running?

Manchester City Council launched its new consultation on active travel across the city on Friday 21 October and residents have until Friday 2 December to submit their views. Responses can be submitted through the council’s website here. The online consultation includes an interactive map where people can suggest schemes or ideas for their local areas.

The local authority says it is particularly keen to hear from residents about which routes or areas in Manchester should be prioritised for making active travel easier, what challenges people face when walking, wheeling or cycling or what barriers are in place that would prevent someone engaging in active travel, and what opportunities the council could pursue to improve people’s access to active travel.

A cyclist riding a trike in a park. Photo: Transport for Greater Manchester

There are also five consultation events taking place across the city where residents can review and comment on proposals. These are at Didsbury Good Neighbours Centre on Wednesday 2 November, The Grange Community Centre in Beswick on Thursday 3 November, Wythenshawe Forum on Monday 7 November, Abraham Moss Centre on Wednesday 9 November and Brunswick Parish Church on Thursday 10 November. All these will be drop-in sessions running from 4pm until 8pm.

The council says creating a network of safe and accessible routes for active travel is key to its ambitions to reach net zero. It also hopes that prioritising active travel will improve residents’ health and increase the vitality of neighbourhoods. The council says it has been developing a strategy for the city centre and now wants to look at Manchester as a whole.

The local authority said it wants to make sure residents’ views are at the heart of plans that are created. It also says it is aware from previous engagement exercises that there are barriers to active travel for Mancunians, including concerns over safety, access to bicycles and the availability of seating and signage.

What has the council said about the consultation?

Coun Tracey Rawlins, executive member for environment and transport at Manchester City Council, said: “No one knows Manchester better than its residents, which is why their involvement in this consultation is so important.

“We want to put active travel at the heart of our transport strategy for years to come. It will benefit our communities by improving the health of residents, and, nothing will be more effective at addressing our net zero targets than getting more cars off the road, and helping people engage in active travel. We are also deeply committed to improving the accessibly of active travel, making sure it is open for everyone.”