Wigan to benefit from £20m cycling boost

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BOSSES behind Britain’s Olympic gold cycling success have backed Greater Manchester’s bid to invest £20m in biking.

Following the news that Wigan is set to benefit from an £8.2m safety project as part of a government bid to get more people on two wheels, transport chiefs revealed they are bidding for cash from a government grant that supports ambitious plans for cycling in cities and regions.

A major 12-year cycling strategy, called Velocity 2025, has been drawn up by Transport for Greater Manchester to ‘kick-start’ cycling on behalf of the region’s council leaders.

If the grant from the government’s Cycle City Ambition Grant is awarded it could unlock further investment worth up to £200m from public and private sector investors over 10 years.

The project would see new cycle routes built to employment zones, schools and leisure centres.

It would also see ‘cycle and ride’ facilities developed to help cyclists link up with Metrolink and rail services.

Last month council chiefs revealed the £8.2m will be used to improve safety at junctions on key routes in the borough, to be known as the Wigan West Cycling Corridor.

Council chiefs say the corridor will provide an alternative, direct and well-connected cycling route for one of the borough’s most deprived residential areas, Worsley Hall, where there is a low level of car ownership and which suffers from a lack of opportunities for employment, education and training.

Former champion Chris Boardman, now of British Cycling, said: “This is as much about people and where they live as about our chosen mode of transport.

You can back the bid by visiting cycling.tfgm. com /velocity.