Green transport boosted by £2.5m regional funding

Wigan will become a more eco-friendly place to commute after the region received a £2.5m funding pot to boost sustainable travel.

A cyclist uses the cycle lane on Wallgate, approaching Seven Stars Bridge
A cyclist uses the cycle lane on Wallgate, approaching Seven Stars Bridge

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) secured the money for schemes aimed at promoting greener ways to travel around the region.

The funding pot from the Department for Transport (DfT) will particularly be used to find ways of helping people get to work while still cutting emissions and helping the environment.

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Cheaper public transport tickets will be offered to thousands of residents across the region and Wiganers will be encouraged to get in the saddle and get to work on two wheels.

The aim is to get 1,600 more people regularly travelling by bicycle, boost public transport journeys by 1,300 a day and generate around £1.7m in health benefits.

Greater Manchester Interim Mayor Tony Lloyd said: “In Greater Manchester our ambition is to have a world-class transport system that is both accessible and affordable to our citizens. This funding will help us to meet our ambitions.

“I’m particularly encouraged that this funding will be targeted at school pupils and students to boost the numbers of young people walking and cycling in Greater Manchester.”

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The Greater Manchester funding, which was obtained on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is one of 23 schemes across England being rewarded by the Government and represents 12 per cent of the total £20.6m allocation.

More than 12,000 free or discounted tickets for bus and tram travel will be given to jobseekers over the next 12 months as well as free recycled bikes and accessories through the Bike Back to Work scheme.

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More than 3,000 adults across the region will receive cycling training and there will be 100 sessions aimed at drivers to improve awareness of two-wheeled road users and make cycling safer.

Schools, colleges and workplaces in the borough and further afield will also benefit from support to promote walking and cycling as well as grants for improving bike facilities for students and employees.

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The Train, Learn, Drive, Earn project will also provide those looking for work with valuable experience in the transport sector.

TfGM committee chair Coun Andrew Fender said: “This is great news that will allow us to build upon the fantastic work already under way to promote sustainable and active travel choices. Getting more people cycling and walking are key priorities for us.”