Paralympic legend Dame Sarah Storey launches a refreshed active travel mission in Wigan
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Dame Sarah, who is the Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester, will be focusing on accessibility, behaviour change and clear communications as part of her plan.
The updated policy sets out Dame Sarah’s priorities and approach to active travel in the city-region to ensure the benefits of walking, wheeling and cycling are unlocked for all residents and communities.
Launching the refreshed vision at The Edge Arena in Wigan, she says she is seeking to build on the foundations of Greater Manchester’s existing active travel system – which has so far seen at least 92km of routes adopted into the Bee Network and the successful roll-out of the first phase of the GM cycle hire scheme.
The new policy, Refreshing Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Mission, highlights the benefits of active travel and why it is fundamental to the success of other key agendas for the area, including improved health, decarbonisation, educational attainment and the economy.
Dame Sarah said: “I am delighted to share the refreshed active travel mission for Greater Manchester and show everyone how we plan to build on the successes of the region’s first Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman.
"We are setting out the additional aspects that we need to consider and we need to build on as the Bee Network originally started as the active travel network but now it includes bus and tram and hopefully trains in the future."
Five key priorities underpin Dame Sarah’s updated mission and will all drive the work and focus of the policy in the coming years.
These priorities include; Infrastructure Delivery; Home to School Travel; Cycle Hire and access to cycling; Integration with Public Transport and Road Danger Reduction.
The mission also sets out 10 key recommendations for active travel in Greater Manchester:
Renew the commitment for every part of the Bee Active Network to be universally accessible.
Deliver a pilot for trialling the carriage of bikes and non-standard cycles on trams.
Adopt Vision Zero, clearly stating a timeframe and plan for all people in GM to commit to.
Publish a plan for the expansion of GM’s cycle hire scheme to additional areas of Greater Manchester.
Establish an integrated ticketing system for the Bee Network that incorporates cycle hire, allowing customers to complete end to end, multi-modal journeys with a single fare.
Explore new offers - including for Our Pass holders - on Cycle Hire and TfGM's Cycle Hubs to improve access and encourage use.
Publish the comprehensive network review by the end of April 2023
Publish a comprehensive update to the future pipeline of active travel infrastructure, acknowledging the previous ten year target and including annual goals to enable progress to be transparently tracked and reported on year by year. Target date of April 2023 for the initial update.
Deliver a new plan for travel between home and school that reduces the number of children being driven less than 2km to their school and helps support Greater Manchester’s ambitions for improved air quality.
Work with GM’s local authorities and the VCSE sector to create an expanding, accessible and diverse range of training offers to suit local needs that reaches all residents of GM by 2025. Collaborate with Bikeability to assist them in achieving the ambition to ensure that every child is able to achieve level 2 Bikeability by 2025.
Dame Sarah added: "We need everything to be universally accessible so we need to make sure our infastructure is accessible from an age and disability perspective.
"We also need a huge focus road danger reduction so my recommendation is for Greater Manchester to adopt Vision Zero so we see zero deaths on our roads.
“We want to offer better access to bikes and offer cycle training and the cycle scheme to date means that now even more people can enjoy the benefits of the scheme.”
Coun Paul Prescott, cabinet member for planning, environment and transport at Wigan Council, said: “We are thrilled to support Dame Sarah Storey’s refreshed mission for Active travel in Greater Manchester.
“Improving active travel infrastructure and accessibility has the power to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality for communities in Wigan and beyond.
“We look forward to working alongside Dame Sarah and seeing her exciting policy in action.”
Current levels of active travel in Greater Manchester are estimated to prevent at least 2,600 serious, long-term health conditions.
"Walking is reported to help prevent at least 425 early deaths annually and cycling more than 50. Not only is active travel reducing early deaths, it is saving the local NHS around.£4m a year.”