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Newsletter of the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign
Hello and welcome to the Autumn 201 3 GMCC Newsletter, so much has happened in the past three months that it is difficult to know where to start. Highlights like the successful £20m Vélocity 2025 bid on pages 6 and 7, Bike Month and the Altrincham Festival Parade on page 4 and the Manchester Day Parade on page 5 contrast greatly with the sad news of the death of Jaye Bloomfield. Yet out of this sadness came the biggest Critical Mass ride I have ever seen in Manchester with riders wearing red, Jaye's favorite colour, riding along with her partner Gemma to celebrate their love of cycling, see page 3. We have campaigning news on pages 8 and 9 including the fact that £300m is planned to be spent on just a few miles of link road. Pages 1 0 and 11 contain items which are all written by new contributors; two cover cycling based arts projects and two are about community cycling initiatives. I hope you enjoy this jam packed issue, there wasn't space to fit everything in. Now the events of the past few months seem to have brought about a new attitude towards cycling in Manchester, and changes are happening within GMCC to reflect that. Four campaign sub-groups have been formed, following the Imagine Cycling event last May, see page 3. The Comms and Marketing group has already launched an initiative, aiming to double GMCC's membership every year, pushing it past the 1 ,000 mark in two years. A major part of this strategy is our "First Year Free" offer to new members, see page 4. So, If you are not already a member of GMCC, join now and get involved. Together we can make Greater Manchester a better place for cycling. Please send text and images for the winter newsletter to email@example.com and get involved. Mike Armstrong
September Monday 9th:
GMCC Meeting at Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, Manchester 7pm
Tuesday 1 0th:
Manchester Cycle Forum, Ctte Rm 9 (Rm 1 006) Town Hall Extn 5pm
Thursday 1 9th: Thursday 26th:
GMCC Social Ride starting from Albert Sq M2 5DB, lights needed 6pm Stockport Council Cycle User Group, Town Hall, Edward St, 6pm
Bike Friday starts from various points around Greater Manchester. 8am www.bikefriday.org Manchester Critical Mass Bike Ride - 6pm Central Library
October Saturday 5th:
CTC/Cyclenation Conference - Leeds - £20 Book online http://leedscyclingcampaign.co.uk/?q=conference
Sunday 1 3th:
Chorlton Wanderers Ride, Chorlton Water Park to Chelford 1 0am
Monday 1 4th:
GMCC Meeting at Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, 7pm
Wednesday 1 6th: Thursday 24th:
Stockport Council Technical Subgroup, Town Hall 6pm GMCC Social Ride starting from Albert Sq M2 5DB, lights needed 6pm Salford Cycle Forum, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 5BY, 6pm
Bike Friday starts from various points around Greater Manchester. 8am www.bikefriday.org Manchester Critical Mass Bike Ride - 6pm Central Library
November Sunday 1 0th:
. . .
Chorlton Wanderers Ride, Chorlton Water Park to Mobberley 1 0am
Monday 11 th:
GMCC Meeting at Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, 7pm
Wednesday 1 3th: Friday 29th:
Stockport Council Cycle User Group, Town Hall, Edward St, 6pm Bike Friday starts from various points around Greater Manchester. 8am www.bikefriday.org Manchester Critical Mass Bike Ride - 6pm Central Library
Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of GMCC.....
Details may vary from the above, please check gmcc.org.uk/events for more events and up to date information.
Secretary Membership Treasurer Media Officer Newsletter Social Sec. Web Admin Web Site Twitter Acc - Richard Alderson - Ted Lawson - Ted Lawson - Vincent Walsh - Mike Armstrong - Rob Raikes - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.gmcc.org.uk - @GMcycling - email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com This edition's cover photo was taken by Jasmine Cox http://www.jasminecox.co.uk/ Stephanie Gardner in the Manchester Day Parade
Correction: the photos on page 2 of the last
Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign c/o 68-70 Dickenson Road, Manchester M1 4 5HF
newsletter were not taken by Costel Harnasz. The top one was by Agnieszka Jaroszewicz, the other remains uncredited.
Jaye Bloomfield, 44, died instantly after being hit on her bike by a black Seat Leon on a pedestrian crossing in Hulme. The collision happened on the westbound sliproad leading to the Mancunian Way flyover from Princess Road at around 3pm on Saturday 3rd August Locals said drivers frequently failed to slow down in time to stop at the traffic lights, which were installed fairly recently as an alternative to a much-hated underpass. The driver of the car, a 40-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further inquiries. In a statement released by Greater Manchester Police, Bloomfield's family paid tribute to her: "Jaye had recently completed a college course and she was in the process of setting up her own business in web design. "Jaye and Gemma had an amazing civil partnership on the 1 8th of August last year surrounded by family and friends and were making plans to celebrate their first anniversary this month. "Jaye was the beloved only child of a devoted Linda Bloomfield who is devastated at her sudden death. "Jaye was a well loved friend with a wicked sense of humour and a love of music. "She had been a regular cyclist for two years and loved cycling. "The family take some comfort from the fact that Jaye died doing something that she enjoyed and that her death was instantaneous. "We have been overwhelmed by the love and support from friends, family and strangers. Jaye made a lasting impression on those around her. She will be remembered as a unique individual."
Image and text via GMP and Guardian Bike Blog
Imagine Cycling in Greater Manchester
Appreciative Inquiry seeks out the best of "what is" to help ignite the collective imagination of "what might be". It aims to help members of an organisation envision a collectively desired future and to carry forth that vision in ways which successfully translate images of possibility into reality and belief into practice. GMCC members Helena Kettleborough and Vincent Walsh participated in a community AI session in their native Rusholme in spring 201 2 and believed the process would help GMCC. 26 people attended the event on the 1 3th May, guided by Kate, Kathy, Abdul and Giodhna. Four areas were prioritised for action to achieve the vision of a cycling heaven in Greater Manchester. Communication, Effective Lobbying, Engagement and (GMCC) Structure. At the conclusion of the evening people signed up to the area or areas where they felt they could help. Volunteers took coordinator roles for each area, pledging to report back to GMCC:
August Critical Mass
Wear something red for Jaye
This month's Critical Mass ride was very special. Following the death of Jaye Bloomfield, several of us had asked her partner Gemma about the possibility of commemorating Jaye on the ride. Gemma suggested that participants could wear red, Jaye's favourite colour and the invitation went out with that in mind. The ride was far larger than usual and Gemma herself came on the ride. After Kieran's usual introduction for new riders, Gemma spoke, amongst other things, about Jaye and their love of cycling and how important it had been to them both (photo right). This was followed by a minute's silence and then the ride moved off. With a large turnout of between 200 and 300 people, and the dominance of the colour red, the ride made a real impact as it rolled out. The ride felt assertive and collective with people looking out for each other and working with the traffic to guide everyone through safely. Whilst there was a lot of sadness the ride celebrated Jaye and our common experience of the joy of cycling. Mike Armstrong writes the blog Mad Cycle Lanes of
Manchester and rides a Brox at Critical Mass
Communications and Marketing - Joanna Long Effective Lobbying - Pete Abel Engagement - Rob Raikes Structure - Dick Venes
Richard Alderson is a regular cyclist and Cycling
Instructor and is currently the Secretary of GMCC
Altrincham Festival Parade
On 6th July, the Altrincham festival parade saw cyclists for the 1 st time! Our entry was called ‘Trafford Cycling Community’. The festival has been going since 1 977. Locals line the streets to watch the parade as it follows a 3 mile route in and around Altrincham town centre. Until now it has always featured floats with the odd marching band or brownie pack. We hope to change that bring on the bikes and trikes! We were 45 people in total including many smiling faces on a wealth of different kinds of cycles from Simply Cycling all-ability cycling group.
So, why did we do it and what did we hope to achieve? Our aim
was to encourage cycling by simply bringing it onto people’s radar and the reason for bringing together people of different cycling abilities, ages, styles & political persuasions was to demonstrate the inclusive nature of it. Connecting with local traders means that we had sponsorship (bells, horns, tech assistance & bike maintenance classes), but it also makes things easier for those new & old to cycling who now have a relationship with their local trader.
What next? We plan to be at next year’s Altrincham Festival and
hopefully they will allow us to attend in greater numbers! There are also plans afoot for a New Year’s cycle. Follow @I_am_pippa / @altybreeze for news of this event.
Pippa Cameron is a marketing consultant based in Altrincham and a
Breeze ride leader. She enjoys and promotes cycling as a mode of transport & a source of fun.
Bike Month Feedback
We were also joined by local traders Bikeshak and Halfords. Halfords donated bells and horns to help us provide a fanfare, and were on hand for assisting with technical hitches. Bikeshak have since provided a free cycle maintenance class for local ladies. This was the beginning of an important relationship between local cyclists and traders. GMCC members Guy Lancaster, Richard Alderson and Mike Armstrong joined the merry throng, each adding a uniqueness with their interesting bikes. Richard managed to perform a demo of his Brompton during a pause in the parade & Mike provided the beats on his brox which he hauled all the way from central Manchester.
BikeMonthMcr.org : details of over 90 events were entered into the
www.bikemonthmcr.org website. By the end of June there had been 431 9 pageviews (2501 unique pageviews). People are likely to return to recheck events listing. In addition there were 638 pageviews (481 unique pageviews) direct to the Events links.
Pledge: 1 50 people signed the “Pledge to cycle everyday in June.”
Love Your Bike emailed all the “pledgees” in mid-June to ask how people were getting on. We received this response which shows the incentive that even a simple “pledge” can have.
“Dear Love Your Bike Team,
Signing this pledge was the best thing I’ve done in a long time. It has forced me to get to my bike when I might not have. I was usually pretty good at having a couple of big rides a week, but would then We invited representatives from each of the 3 main leave the bike alone for two or three days. This has got me in the political parties. Labour’s Kate Green was sadly unable habit of cycling every day (even if it’s just a quick ten minute ride up to attend but we had Jane Brophy of the Liberal the road to the shop and back, which I would normally have hopped Democrats & Alex Williams of the Conservative party. in the car for). I have cycled to work whenever possible, which has Two Breeze Network ladies were among our numbers been 8 out of 11 working days so far this month and I feel fitter, and handed out flyers determinedly. We also handed healthier etc. etc. I even didn’t wimp out on the two days it was out our own ‘Trafford Cycling Community’ flyers, which raining. So far this month I have cycled 359 miles, and my second explained who we are, why we cycle and gave pledge for the month is to complete 500 miles by the end of June.
information about local cycling opportunities. Oh, and we won a prize. ‘Highly Commended’ in the voluntary I’m glad I stumbled across your website and signed the pledge !” sector. info from Pete Abel
Manchester Bike Month kicked off in style as an entry of around 30 people on pedal cycles and a giant bike complete with rider turned into Deansgate from Liverpool Road. Nothing prepares you for that moment as you suddely find yourself in front of crowds six-deep all chearing and taking photographs. Ian Dunning led the riders out on his penny farthing to the clear delight of the children in the crowd. It was estimated that at least 60,000 people turned out to see the parade.
Manchester Day Parade
The giant Bike was built by artist/maker Julian Taylor (bottom left) who was employed by Walk the Plank. The puppet was constructed by Julian and his partner with help from Peta Stamell, Matt Shotton, Jasmine Cox, Anna PowWow, Pete Abel & me. The parade included both the Brox and Coffeecranks sound systems, linked by radio headphones, several dutch style bikes, including Jo with brolly up and Rich on a Pashley turned out as "plebgate". Others taking part in the parade itself included Ella, Guy, Jibreel, Zym, Kieren, Dan, Aga, Bridget, Tony, Rob, Frank and Anna's facepainted comrades - "Steph, Hannah, Anna, Ruth, Dan, Bob, Sarah + 3 other dudes that came with Dan" along with other partners and crew who joined in. Many thanks to all who took part and we can start planning next year as soon as the theme is anounced.
Mike Armstrong writes the blog Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester and rides a Brox Compact
Parade photos by Jasmine Cox http://www.jasminecox.co.uk/
Funding success gives Greater Manchester the green light for cycling
The journey to Vélocity 2025 began earlier this year when the DfT announced the Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG) scheme on the 30th of January, with three cities set to share £30m. In mid-February guidance was issued highlighting the level of ambition required with reassuring phrases such as “inclusive, high quality design“, “transformational change”, “only for capital (works)”, “long term ambition” and “segregated infrastructure”. The document also set out the timescales – bids needed to be submitted by May 1 st, and the money had to be spent by April 201 5. GMCC offered input to our bid, and all parties were in agreement that a smaller number of better quality schemes would be most beneficial. The funds were aimed at zones of up to 1 m people so a target area was chosen, deliberately covering places with existing usage and potential. The tight spending timescale reduced the opportunity to include bold on-carriageway schemes where a motor-vehicle lane is reallocated to provide high quality protected cycling infrastructure, but this concept was included “where possible”. A series of ‘quick win’ schemes were discussed, many of them using canal towpaths to avoid the lengthy processes required for road schemes. TfGM and council officers proposed seven ‘spokes’ routes, along with some cycle parking facilities at stations and colleges, The bid document was compiled by Creative Concern and supported by local cycling organisations, including GMCC who stated: “We welcome the proposals in TfGM's Vélocity 2025 plan, especially the connected network of high quality traffic-free greenways and protected on-carriageway facilities. We agree this is the most required change to encourage more people to choose to cycle for their everyday journeys. Such a network would also allow existing cyclists to travel more comfortably and effectively, particularly during the peak hours. “The pledge to fund a further 1 0 years of this transformational programme is also welcomed. We believe such a level of commitment is required to fully unlock the potential that exists in our region.” In May a scheduled press conference was delayed but rumours that the GM bid would have been awarded £1 5m seemed reliable, so we waited for the official announcement, confident but uncertain. This delay has affected many smaller locally-funded schemes, as they were due to be upgraded if the bid was successful. A drawn-out 11 weeks later the rumour mill started up again, and this time there was talk of GM receiving the full £20m applied for, meaning all of the locally pledged £11 .1 m would be available too. TfGM confirmed the news with its sportily titled “Yellow Jersey for Greater Manchester“ press release (when will mainstream cycling be promoted as a form of transport?) which highlighted the four projects and long term commitment: • A major new network of strategic, integrated and – where possible – segregated cycle routes to employment centres, schools and leisure facilities. [£1 7m Government funding] • Locally funded work to ‘mainstream’ cycling – promoting it to young and old to create a cultural shift in attitudes. [£11 .1 m local funding] • ‘Cycle and Ride’ stations will be developed for Gatley, Irlam, Flixton and Guide Bridge railway stations and at Prestwich, Hollinwood and East Didsbury Metrolink stops. [£2m Government funding]
• Work with a number of partner schools and colleges to improve cycle facilities so as to encourage cycling as a travel option for younger people. [£1 m Government funding] Beyond this two-year grant, TfGM and the district councils are committed to continue to deliver the Vélocity 2025 strategy by rolling out further major investment in cycling across Greater Manchester over the following 1 0 years. The original Vélocity 2025 bid document set out proposals for the first seven ‘spokes’ routes, these being: • Prestwich ‘City View’ Cycleway will link Manchester City Centre from Prestwich and Heaton Park through Crumpsall and Irk Valley. A link to Alan Turing Way will feed into a traffic free orbital cycle route. • Ashton Canal Cycleway will be an off-highway route from Ashton to Manchester City Centre with links into Ashton town centre, Guide Bridge railway station and the National Cycling Centre. • Mersey Valley & Stockport Cycleway will see a fully segregated cycle track linking Cheadle to the Corridor Super Cycleway and into Stockport Town Centre. • Corridor SuperCycleway will be an improved on-highway, and largely segregated, cycle route from Wilmslow Road to East Didsbury with further links to the Trans Pennine Trail and Mersey Valley cycle paths. • Airport City Enterprise Cycleway will be a new series of improved cycle links at Manchester Airport, adjacent to residential areas with links to Wythenshawe Hospital and the town centre. • Bridgewater Cycleway will complete the final 4km of cycle route from Bridgewater Canal Towpath into Manchester City Centre. A link to Salford Quays will also be provided. • MediaCity and Quays Cycleway will expand cycle routes to better link the Lower Broughton area via Salford University to MediaCityUK and Salford Quays. GMCC will be asking people to “adopt a spoke” updating local information as these routes are developed. We’ll make a more detailed announcement about this shortly, meanwhile please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved. GMCC has also announced a special offer for new members to celebrate Vélocity 2025 – See the advert on page 4. This funding success is warmly welcomed, but there’s still a lot for GMCC to do to ensure the best value and quality for cyclists is achieved from the £31 .1 m. Since only 1 m GM residents will benefit directly we’ll need to campaign to encourage as much as possible to be done for GM’s 1 .6m other residents, and we’ll need to ensure that the pledges to continue to fund Vélocity 2025, and increase the scheme’s scope to include all of GM, will be honoured in 201 5. Also, we’re well aware that the scheme does not address wider issues like Metrolink cycle carriage and parking facilities at other stations; planning regulations for cycle parking at residential and commercial buildings; and the biggest concern for most ‘would be’ cyclists – road safety issues caused by poor maintenance, legislation, enforcement and justice.
Richard Alderson is a regular cyclist and Cycling Instructor
and is currently the Secretary of GMCC.
What's worth more than £20m?
The announcement of the success of TfGM’s Vélocity bid is exciting news for cyclists across Greater Manchester. £20m will be pumped into cycling infrastructure across the city by 201 6. A couple of major routes, like Wilmslow Road through the Curry Mile, will be radically overhauled. Other routes like the Bridgewater Canal towpath will be connected into the City Centre; education programmes will be rolled out with schools; some Cycle and Ride stations will be introduced across the rail and Metrolink networks. All great stuff. It surprised me to discover that £20m doesn’t go all that far in the world of highways improvements. Happily, the intangibles that the Vélocity success also brings will take us a long way. This sort of money encourages transport planners to put their faith in cycling having a serious future. It brings about the development of a sensible masterplan for cycling infrastructure; it propels cycling up political and news agendas; it means cycling is demonstrably worth something in stark financial terms. The vision for the Vélocity bid was a Greater Manchester in 2025 which 1 0% of all journeys are made by bike. To achieve this in 11 ½ years might look like a tall order, but I, for one, have already noticed a massive increase in cyclists on the roads even this year. Spending time and spending money on cycling shows that TfGM and the district councils care about it. What actually gets people on their bikes for the first time though is seeing other people doing it and enjoying it – a culture of cycling - and that’s over to us.
Kate Chappell is Lead Member for Cycling at Manchester City
Council and Councillor for Rusholme.
Time to turn Ambition into reality.
On 1 2th August the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that the Greater Manchester Vélocity 2025 Cycling City Ambition Grant (CCAG) bid had been successful. This will provide £20 million (£1 0 per person for 1 million people for 2 years) together with £11 million local 'match' funding to help encourage more people to cycle. The Velocity 2025 bid aims to “double, and double again the proportion of trips, made by bicycle, whether that's commuting, utility or recreational cycling” by 2025. Details of the bid available at www.tfgm.com/velocity/ Love Your Bike supports the Vélocity 2025 bid and lobbied for three key areas.
> any new, or upgraded, cycle routes should be “Dutch-style” separated cycle routes > the project needed to be for a longer timespan than 2 years > that Greater Manchester needed to commit to funding at a similar level for at least 10 years
Over a 1 2 year period the Vélocity 2025 bid commits Greater Manchester to the following:
“Our Hub & Spokes model is based on a network of more continuous cycle highways that are segregated whenever possible.” “our programme would see between £150 and £200 million invested on a range of cycling infrastructure, interventions and culture shift of which £20 million will be from the Cycle City Ambition Grant, £20 million from the LSTF and the remainder from a range of local and national, public and private sources through to 2025.”
The 1 2 year commitment is to be welcomed. Love Your Bike will continue to lobby for increased funding. Across Greater Manchester the Vélocity 2025 funding works out at below £6 per person per year. In comparison, Copenhagen currently spends £1 8 per person each year and they are planning to increase this amount. They also have cycling levels of over 40% (all trips). Love Your Bike lobbied for funding of £1 0 per person per year across Greater Manchester. This would require £270 million for the 1 0 years after the 2-year CCAG project – a lot of money but still less than the £300 million pledged to build 6 miles of new road from Stockport to Manchester Airport. The lower amount would encourage more people to cycle, reduce air pollution, reduce noise levels, reduce congestion, reduce obesity levels and help Greater Manchester meet its climate change targets. The other £300 million will not. Time to chose.
Pete Abel is a volunteer with Love Your Bike - a Manchester-based cycling advocacy campaign.
Policing the Police
Campaigners and victims of cycling road crashes met with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales in July to hand in the first of a series of CTC’s Road Justice reports. Road Justice: the role of the police examines how cyclists have been failed by the current system with inadequate police investigation following a collision and little or no support. PCCs elected across England and Wales in November 201 2 have a responsibility for road safety. Greater Manchester's PCC is Tony Lloyd. A delegation of cyclists (photo left) led by Grahame Cooper met him at his Swinton HQ, "Tony Lloyd was
very receptive, he said all the right things about the relative risks of driving and cycling and the imbalance between motor vehicles and vulnerable road users. Rob (Raikes) arrived on his Brompton and had a good chat. Tony says he's thinking of getting a Brompton himself!"
A Slower Pace makes a Better Place
Vincent Walsh is sent to Coventry to report on the Fourth annual 20mph Conference A year ago 8 million people in the UK lived in areas committed to 20 mph limits, now the figure is 1 2 million. The change is happening much faster in cities than the countryside, Lancashire being the only county to take the plunge. This conference held in Coventry Transport Museum was more a forum for council officers (three from Manchester, one from Trafford) rather than a gathering of converted campaigners. Reducing casualties remains the key justification but public health, now the responsibility of local authorities, is emerging as a central driver for change. The spiralling costs of our national obesity epidemic can best be reduced by more people walking and cycling. 20 mph limits used to involve zones with expensive traffic calming but the last government eased the rules, enabling councils to implement the change over wider areas, with just minimum signage. It is much cheaper than expected. 20′s Plenty campaign director Anna Semlyen says” Lancashire spent £6 million rather than the budgeted £9 million. In Middlesbrough it was £1 .80 a head – a bargain.” 20’s Plenty for Us carefully steers a neutral political course, defining itself not as a Westminster-focused lobby group but as a national voluntary organisation supporting communities who want lower traffic speeds. This approach seems to be paying dividends, opening doors to local authorities of all political colours. In (Green-led) Brighton and Hove public support for lower limits introduced in April 201 3 was 55% with 45% against but has secured cross-party backing.” Sussex police have not been keen on active enforcement. "In Brighton we are seeking compliance through education and social marketing. We should remember behaviour change can take time." noted council officer Emma Sheridan. Rod King agrees the pressure for lower traffic speeds has to come from community involvement. Occasional enforcement by police is necessary, but only as part of the mix, “‘This is about everybody playing their part.” 20’s Plenty for Us now has 1 97 local campaigns, 70 more than a year ago. Rod concluded the day with a rallying call, ” We are reaching a tipping point. Now that 75% of the public is in favour of 20 mph limits the government will have to adjust its benevolent but laissez-faire policy towards local implementation. ‘We are in transition towards 20 mph being the norm. How can we have a credible national limit of 30 mph when so many of our cities have rejected it as only being suitable for a small minority of their roads?” Vincent Walsh
The launch of the report, available at:
http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/files/ctc_road_ju stice_-_the_role_of_the_police.pdf follows recently
released figures from the Department for Transport, showing cycle serious injuries and deaths are up 5% in 201 2 against the previous year, whilst overall roads policing has been cut by 29% over the last decade. The next two reports will focus on: charging and prosecution; and courts and sentencing. Add your support to the Road Justice Campaign by signing the CTC petition:
ordinates 20's Plenty for Manchester
Vincent Walsh is the GMCC media officer and co-
Sustrans fails to Connect 2 real road safety
This summer helmet manufacturers will get a promotional boost when Sustrans marks the completion of the Connect2 programme with a series of high profile rides where it is mandatory to wear helmets. Some Sustrans supporters have refused to comply and lost the chance of a cycling holiday of a lifetime. In December 2007 we feverishly urged family, friends and colleagues to vote for Connect2 in the Peoples Millions National Lottery contest. The result was Sustrans won £50m to create 84 new bridges and crossings that overcome busy roads, rivers and railways and link to walking and cycling routes. In our area we have the Goyt Valley connection, the Bridgewater Way and the Bury-Woodfold Gap. This autumn Pedal On UK takes to the roads and cycle ways of the UK. I was selected to join the Sale to Ripley (North Yorks) leg because I had a significant role in these Connect 2 achievements. I was honoured and excited until I read Rider Fact 1 .5: The company running the ride insists on helmets being worn. Sustrans website appears neutral on the subject of helmets:
Ultimately, wearing a helmet is a question of individual choice (and parents need to make that choice for their children.)
Rather than promoting body armour our collective efforts should be directed at reducing the real source of danger to vulnerable road users - bad driving and the
Manchester Airport to A6 Relief Road
Traffic congestion in south Manchester, and particularly along the A6, is chronic. The traditional response – let’s build a bypass! – has resulted in various schemes over the decades (red routes, blue routes .), all of which have eventually been abandoned. But road building is back in fashion, and a proposal to extend the A555 to link the Airport to the A6 is currently being fast tracked. The scheme in its present form dates back to the South East Manchester Multi Modal Study (SEMMMS) report, issued in 2001 . This was one of a series of studies commissioned by the Department of Transport in the late 1 990s to investigate transport corridors judged to have transport issues, and to come forward with packages of multi-modal solutions. The SEMMMS report had many recommendations, including extending Metrolink to Stockport and Marple, a range of improvements to the rail system, Quality Bus Corridors and other behavioural change measures to promote walking, cycling and public transport. It also recommended several road proposals, including the A555 extension and the A532 Poynton bypass. A fundamental condition for the road building was that existing road space relieved of traffic should be reallocated to sustainable modes of transport. What’s happened since 2001 ? For a start, the traffic growth predictions on which the report was based have proved to be wrong; rather than continuing to grow, traffic has in fact leveled off. Whilst Metrolink has expanded, the Stockport/Marple link has not been built and looks unlikely to ever proceed. There have only been small scale schemes to “re-assign” road space, and no overall cycle network strategy has been forthcoming. There have been some improvements to the bus service, but not to anything like the extent recommended in the SEMMMS report, and work on behavioural change has been spasmodic. The national policy framework has changed dramatically though, with much greater emphasis on sustainable transport, and carbon reduction targets, and of course long overdue encouragement of cycling. speed of motor traffic. Disappointed Sustrans is lending succour to the pro-helmet lobby I approached chief executive Malcolm Shepherd. I requested he reconsider the helmet rule but he claimed his hands are tied : "We had to out-source the delivery of the rides and all the organisations we approached have as a condition of their insurance that participants must wear helmets. We tried but failed to negotiate opt-out clauses. I am advised that all cycle holiday companies now insist on this arrangement. We either have the ride (with Saddle Skedaddle) on these conditions or we abandon it." Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns & Policy Director is surprised at Sustrans stance, " "Any event organised nationally by CTC would not have a helmet rule. Our insurers do not insist on helmet wearing as a condition of our organisers' liability insurance." It is depressing British cycle holiday companies connive with the insurance industry to compel helmet wearing. Such a policy is contrary to good sense, scientific evidence and the wider interests of public health. It will not further our goal of getting more people cycling, more safely, more often. TfGM seems to be joining the helmet bandwagon. The reprint of their ten Greater Manchester cycling maps sadly features more helmets - and lycra. The North West Transport Roundtable (NW TAR), in conjunction with the Campaign for Better Transport have produced 2 reports which provide an excellent critique of the project ( “A folly in the making”, and “More reasons why the A6-Manchester Airport road should not be commissioned” GMCC has lent its support to the case being made here.
The road scheme does include a multi user (cycles, pedestrians and horse riders) path along its length. We are all in favour of building this, though not the new dual carriageway that it would run alongside! However, the design of the path is flawed as it stands, incorporating several time-consuming multi-stage signal controlled crossings of existing roads. More effective and equitable solutions are available, such as bridges or underpasses, or single stage signal controls that would allow cyclists to cross junctions in the same number of stages as their fellow, motorised, road users. We believe that if the scheme goes ahead it should be redesigned in order to provide a safe, convenient and attractive route for cyclists. In this we support the submission led by CycleWilmslow. The current scheme will cost around £300 million, and do little more than move traffic congestion around the network a little. The problem is the amount of traffic; there is no shortage of roads. All the evidence is that new roads actually increase traffic. The only way to reduce traffic congestion is to reduce the number of cars using the road network – through better public transport, and increasing sustainable transport modes like cycling and walking.
David Butler is a retired town planner, living in Stockport who
commuted into central Manchester by bike nearly every day for 40 years.
ArtCrank is a global media collective, showcasing the talents of Cycle based artists throughout the world. Having hosted successful shows in London, they decided to make the pilgrimage up to the home of British Cycling, Manchester. The event was organised in a collaboration with Retrofuzz, the fine folk who brought us 'Allez Wiggo' last year, and work on a host of amazing multimedia design work. Certainly worth a look. Collaboration also came in the form of sponsorship from Colourplan Papers (upon which the art was printed) and Lezyne, a US based cycle sports product manufacturer, making everyday mundane cycle repair products cool, as well as offering commuter and offroad lighting. The venue was an 'art space' in the Northern Quarter called 2022NQ, and was a great showcase for the prints, if a little warm in the mini heatwave we have been encountering. 2022NQ is a quirky basement bar and meeting place and was bursting with North West cyclists, also in attendance were many of the artists themselves, all UK based, many from the North West. Thematically, ArtCrank is all about the bike, and the prints represented the diversity of both cycling, and of the mind of the designers. Having seen what other ArtCranks had to offer, this edition did not dissapoint. Selling on the night in limited edition numbered quantities, at very reasonable cost, the sales team were certainly kept busy. £30 per image is a really affordable way to get into owning such interesting art. If there are any standout pieces, like all art, it is highly subjective. 'Aero Dynamic' was a stand out in my eyes, with a mixture of music and bikes in a very clinical and quirky print style. Likewise, Simon Misra's Off the Chain was a very different and bold take. The artists really have a passion and understanding of Cycling, plus the skill to convey their work. I'll be keeping my crayons in the box ! As an event, this was excellent. Low Fi, a cool location, a collection of inspired images, and inspired people too. It was great to catch up with some old friends and to remind myself that Manchester is a great place to cycle, and to be a cyclist. I'm told that ArtCrank will be back, in the meantime, check out the Flickr gallery. If any take your fancy, go to the online 2022NQ Shop (http://shop.2022nq.co.uk/), there might be prints still available.
Chris Keller-Jackson is a freelance cycling Photo
Journalist, based in Manchester who currently has an 84 image Track Cycling exhibition at Manchester Velodrome. Foto Velo Drome.
Photo & Text copyright Chris Keller-Jackson www.crankphoto.co.uk - email@example.com
A Day in the Park
Cycling is cheap, healthy and social and if you ride a bike, it's easy to take things for granted. Jump on your bike and go! However, there are many people who never learned to ride as children, or who have not dared chance the roads of Manchester, or who simply cannot afford a bike. As part of the Well-being programme, Refugee Action has been working with BikeRight, social work students and volunteers to bring all the positive benefits of cycling to a group of people who would otherwise be prevented from accessing this simplest of activities. Around 57 people enjoyed the summer sun in Platt Fields Park this July. Some, like Abby, came to learn to ride. Others, like Tony and Mo, have now achieved a Level 2 award in cycling and feel confident on the roads. All the bikes are provided and food is shared at lunchtime, making this a valuable social occasion as much as a learning experience or healthy activity. People who flee persecution and seek asylum here cannot work, choose where they live, or claim the usual benefits until their asylum claim is accepted. With little money and no social network it's hard to be healthy - both mentally and physically. An afternoon in a park on a bike - so simple - can make a huge difference. To find out more about the project contact Gurdeep Thiara Development Worker Wellbeing Project at Refugee Action email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo by Kate Percival,
Development Manager at Refugee Action.
Autumn Barlow is a Greater Manchester writer and journalist.
She can work the topic of cycling into any conversation.
Coinciding with Bike Month MCR, I spent a long weekend in July encamped in the Cornerhouse café, watching the comings and goings at the Sheffield stands down below then writing a collection of flash fiction pieces inspired by the bicycles I monitored. Once I’d written and edited each short-short story, I scribbled it out four times then, using cycling community flyering techniques (ie stapling them to crossbars!), left copies for the owners to discover. The project was called Flyer Fiction and was part of the Cornerhouse Micro Commissions programme, and took place Friday 1 2 July 5-8pm, Saturday 1 3 July 2-5pm, Sunday 1 4 July 11 am-2pm and Monday 1 5 July 8-11 pm. The timings were chosen specifically to span the café’s usual opening hours, from 11 am to 11 pm, and I aimed to coincide my sittings with busier periods, both inside and out (early doors on Friday, Saturday afternoon post-lunch pre-dinner drinks, Sunday brunch, Monday’s Reel Deal special offer and quiz). I’m intrigued by how time affects place, and thought that, by recording my observations at different points throughout the day, I could record a slice of Cornerhouse’s history, particularly significant in light of the upcoming move to HOME. I have a particular interest in the built environment and psychogeography, and how we interact with and are influenced by urban spaces, and I thought this project might visualise the organisation’s current impermanent place in the city and acknowledge the important role the building has played in helping shape our memories of the last 27 years. I’ve written site-specific pieces before and left them for people to read – guerilla writing or fiction-bombing – but I really wanted to do a project where I could write stories in situ, so studying this hub of activity seemed perfect! As a cyclist, I often park here and have noticed there’s a constant ebb and flow of bikes, many of which are “regulars”. As a fiction writer, I wanted to draw inspiration from the different kinds of bikes parked outside Cornerhouse and use them as a basis on which to build characters for my stories – I think types of bicycle can say a lot about the bicycle owner and offer a peephole into their way of life, and this was a real incentive for Flyer Fiction.
In fact, as the weekend went on, this played out, and I noticed various behavioural patterns, returning bikes, regular passers-by and visitors, and just one-off points of interest that found their way into the subsequent stories that I came up with. Having Tweed Ride take a detour especially to wave at me was great and they ended up in a tale, as did a total stranger who had heard about the project and wished me well. She had a “I heart my bike” bell, so I wrote her into one of the stories, and she’s since been in touch to thank me! There’s more on the project here, including the Flyer Fictions that were written, in their first draft form: http://sitespecificstories.blogspot.co.uk/
Sarah-Clare Conlon is a writer and editor based in
South Manchester. She advocates chic cycling and likes coaster brakes.
Bolton Alternative Transport
Bolton Alternative Transport was set up from a branch of the Greenhouse project, which was an Umbrella group for green activity in Bolton. A group of friends started collecting bikes and repairing them for friends and community centre users. In 2008 we secured a small grant, to train two of the volunteers as qualified mechanics. Our emphasis was to work with vulnerable groups in the community, providing training and low price bicycles, we worked with the NERUS educational project and Brass befriending refugee services setting up six week sessional bike maintenance classes. From this, with help from the NLDC Fund working in deprived communities, we were able to secure a temporary lease on a small premises in Bolton. From here we provided a repair and servicing facility ,and the possibility of selling refurbished bikes. In 2011 we moved to a bigger premises in Bolton Town Centre. We are focused on recycling and are registered with Greater Manchester Waste as a designated drop off point for unwanted bikes. We also keep our links with the local community, attending many Dr Bike events during the summer, and road safety events, Bolton Sky Ride and community fundays. We are also branching out this year to Wigan! Attending the 3rd Annual diggers festival on the 7th September. Small successes turn into big ones over time, in 3 years we have saved and refurbished over 2.000 bicycles!! We have also trained over a 1 00 students in introductory bicycle maintenance. To contact us : Andy Boardman : 01 942 81 9933 answer phone mobile 07851 936640 e mail email@example.com - facebook boltonalternativetransport twitter @bikerecycler
Bike Shop Discounts
All these shops offer 5% or 1 0% discounts to GMCC members on production of a valid membership card. A1 Cycle Spares (01 61 998 2882) 41 4-41 6 Palatine Rd, Northenden A6 Cycle Warehouse (01 61 248 5400) 752-762 Stockport Rd, Longsight Altrincham Bike Shak (01 61 929 9355) 1 0 Oakfield Trading Estate, Oakfield Rd, Altrincham Sale Moor Car & Cycle (01 61 969 1 81 8) 1 74 Northenden Rd, Sale M33 2SR Bicycle Doctor (01 61 224 1 303) 68-70 Dickenson Rd, Rusholme Biking Factory Shop (01 61 773 21 25) 424 Bury New Rd, Prestwich Coffee Cranks Cooperative (07599 088 81 6) Central and South Manchester Devereux Cycles (01 61 973 5234) 45 Green Lane, Sale Eddie McGrath Cycles (01 61 748 2733) 31 Station, Urmston Harry Hall Cycles (01 61 236 5699) 67 Whitworth St, Manchester Keep Pedalling (01 61 222 601 5) 23 Hilton Street M1 1 EL Ken Foster’s Cycle Logic (01 61 881 71 60) 374-376 Barlow Moor Rd, Chorltoncum-Hardy Lane End Cycles (01 61 431 0777) 5 Lane End Rd, Burnage, M1 9 1 WA Manchester Cycle Exchange (01 61 748 2532) 1 Brook Terrace, Barton Rd, Davyhulme NW Mountain Bike Centre (01 61 428 3311 ) 249 Stockport Rd, Cheadle Popup Bikes (01 61 839 0709) Arch 5 Corporation St. M4 4DG revolveMCR mobile cycle repairs (07939 062 600) South and Central Manchester Skidmores Cycles (01 61 624 591 2) 37 Union St, Oldham Withington Cycles (01 61 445 3492) 26 Burton Rd, Withington Every effort is made to ensure the details here are correct but no responsibility can be accepted for errors.
Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign is a voluntary group working to make cycling in Greater Manchester quicker, safer, easier and more enjoyable. Less than 2% of journeys in Greater Manchester are by bicycle because many people who would like to cycle are intimidated by the quantity and speed of motorised traffic. The GMCC is campaigning to change this. Our aim is to increase cycle use in Greater Manchester by ensuring that cycling is promoted as a cheap, healthy, sustainable transport choice within local authority strategies, schemes and programmes for all types of trips including, commuting, local and leisure. Meetings to organise campaigns are held on the second Monday of every month at the Friends Meeting House, Mount St, Manchester M2 5NS, close to Manchester Town Hall, starting at 7.00pm. There is bicycle parking at the side of the building. At 9pm the group usually head to The Waterhouse, 67-71 Princess Street. Everyone is welcome, members and non-members alike.
Join Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign Today
To celebrate the Velocity 2025 funding success we're offering new members their first year of GMCC membership for free. Just fill out this form, and post it to Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign c/o 68-70 Dickenson Road Manchester M1 4 5HF