A NEW cycle lane will 'pop-up' in Prestwich along a busy route to Manchester city centre in a bid to keep as many people off public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.

A temporary cycle lane will be installed, beginning at St Mary’s Park and continuing along Bury New Road after Bury Council successfully bid for a slice off £3.1 million Government cash.

Similar measures are being implemented across Greater Manchester to enable thousands more journeys to made on foot or bike as part of the first phase of "emergency active travel measures".

The ‘pop-up’ cycle lane will be created using raised plastic ‘armadillo’ features which prevent vehicles from entering the cyclists’ space along the major road, which carries 22,000 vehicles a day.

The move is aimed at helping provide a "viable, safe travel alternative for the third of Greater Manchester households that don’t have access to a car" and to keep public transport free for those that need it most as retail, hospitality and workplaces start to re-open.

Bury Times:

Bury Council has worked with Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester to identify which routes will form part of "tranche one".

The 'pop-up' cycle is expected to be in place by October.

Through lockdown an increasing number of journeys have been made by bike, with the weekday cycling peak reaching 200,000 trips. This equates to an estimated one million cycle trips being made each week, an average 16 per cent increase on pre lockdown levels.

The scheme complements Bury Council's the #SafeStreetsSaveLives campaign to support social distancing during coronavirus lockdown and recovery, with £5m of emergency funding made available through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund (MCF)

Bury Times:

(Metro Mayor Andy Burnham)

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester has set out bold plans to create more space for cycling and walking across our city-region and we’re pleased the Government has backed our ambitions.

"These measures will help people in every borough of Greater Manchester to take advantage of safer, healthier alternatives to public transport and the car while social distancing remains in place. The political consensus around prioritising active travel is becoming stronger by the day and this is emerging as one area where Greater Manchester and the whole country is set to build back better.”

Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “This emergency funding has empowered Greater Manchester leaders to take immediate action and provide safe travel options for their residents to get to and from key areas.

“By creating temporary space for people to cycle and walk along major protected routes, local authorities can support those who want to do their bit to help save public transport for people who need it most. This will also ensure that the third of Greater Manchester households who don’t have access to a car are not denied the right to safe travel options.

“These are big changes to make and I commend the local authorities for mobilising so quickly and showing bravery and commitment in reallocating space. Their actions will truly make a difference to social inclusion during this emergency situation and make sure everyone has access to safe travel.”