Cycling figures hit new heights in Manchester - and it could be just the start with major bid on the table

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Figures from Manchester City Council show that cycling is on the up across the city.

Cycling is on the rise in Manchester, and one cycle route in particular is being used an increased amount. On nine days during a three week period in September and October, 6,000 people cycled on the Oxford Road cycle route.

Manchester City Council has also said another impressive figure has been reached, with the one millionth journey this year being recorded along the cycle lane on October 20 – one month earlier than the previous record.

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This from the council on the number of cyclists rising in Manchester is the latest in line of positive biking news. The reopening of the Velodrome at the National Cycle centre in Manchester back in September was a step forward for putting cycling in the city back on the agenda. 

As well as being a cycling hub, the cycling centre has also been used as the home of local clubs, who host training and competition programs from the site. Its importance as this role is hoped will get more people involved with cycling. 

Manchester is going one step further again with the hopes of securing continental status recognition of its positive approach to cycling. This comes in the form of a bid to become the 2024 European Capital of Cycling. 

This would help to put Manchester on the map in terms of a cycling city, and the bid was placed in early September. At around the same time, the opening stage of the 2023 Tour of Britain cycle race took place through Greater Manchester the biggest road cycling event has been a regular visitor to the region.

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The improved numbers of cyclists in Manchester has been acknowledged by Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport for Manchester City Council.

She said: “The record-breaking weeks we have seen on the Oxford Road cycleway are wonderful to see. We have always said that infrastructure is the key to unlocking the potential our city has when it comes to walking and cycling.  

“It’s very encouraging to see the sheer number of people using this cycleway, figures we hope to see replicated across our transport network as new cycleways are brought into use, and barriers which prevent people from walking or cycling are broken down.” 

Cycleway in ManchesterCycleway in Manchester
Cycleway in Manchester | Manchester city council

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner, added: “The Oxford Road scheme has created a well-connected and enhanced space not just for cycling but for walking and wheeling too, with safer crossing points, more greenery, better bus stops and places for people to sit. 

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“These record-breaking numbers show that if you build high-quality, safe active travel infrastructure, people will use it or, to put it simply, it works. 

“Creating longer, well-connected active travels routes is a key recommendation of my Refreshed Active Travel Mission and I look forward to other new key corridors, such as the Chorlton Cycleway, opening soon and delivering similar impacts for people in Manchester.” 

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