Grant awarded to council to help improve walking and cycling access during coronavirus pandemic

£500,000 grant will go towards projects as part of TfGMs #SaferStreetsSaveLives campaign

Grant awarded to council to help improve walking and cycling access during coronavirus pandemic

Stockport Council is to receive a grant of up to £500,000 to help it deliver proposals to make it easier for people to walk and cycle during the coronavirus pandemic.

The current health crisis has provided a need to make it as easy as possible for residents to walk and cycle safely while also respecting the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

The money has come from TfGMs #SaferStreetsSaveLives campaign, which was launched in Greater Manchester last week and aims to create enhanced shared spaces for pedestrians and cyclists across the city-region.

Council officers in Stockport have been working closely with businesses and residents groups, including our Walk Ride groups, to identify issues in their area.

The council will then review all the identified issues and develop solutions, which can then be delivered.

Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “Stockport is passionate about walking and cycling and we have a real opportunity to make our roads safer not just for this unprecedented period, but for the future as well.

“We have been in contact with our walking and cycling groups across the borough to get their thoughts on what we can do.

“In fact, WalkRideGM are helping us with our work. They've created a map of Stockport that lets you pin-point the areas you think we need to look at. They'll then provide the data, all anonymised, to us.

"This is true, bottom-up work that I want as many people as possible to get involved with. This data will help us in identifying those particular areas of the borough where measures to support walking and cycling safely are needed.

“We are aware that are some areas of the borough that are easier than others to implement these new measures, but with the discussions we are having, we are very hopeful that some of the ideas brought to us can be installed as soon as possible.”

In addition to the Transport for Greater Manchester-led #SafeStreetsSaveLives campaign, on May 9, the Government announced a £2bn funding packing for walking and cycling in the UK.

Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: "This announcement is official recognition of the major role cycling and walking will play as we emerge from this crisis.

“By creating safe streets we give people the choice to make active journeys, taking the pressure off our public transport system and protecting our NHS - both now and in the future. When a third of all journeys under 1km in Greater Manchester are made by car, the lifesaving impact of this, through improved health and cleaner air, cannot be underestimated.

“Our Local Authorities are already mobilising their plans to create more space for those on foot or on bikes; a potential lifeline for the third of households across the city region who don’t have access to a car and usually rely on public transport. And whilst this funding will be a vital enabler, fast tracking the approval of side roads zebra crossings - that are currently used across the world- will help protect people who are choosing to do their bit to help us all.”

Any Stockport business or resident who is aware of a footpath or road where social distancing is proving to be a challenge, should forward the details to walkcycle@stockport.gov.uk

In addition, community group, Walk Ride GM, is running its own consultation, which it intends to share with council officers.

For more information, visit Walk Ride GM Consultation.

Immediate/recovery measures in Stockport:
• Where applicable, street audits to identify pavement pinch points focussing on centres, shopping streets and park entrances. Also, where applicable, focus on removing street clutter, parking suspension and reduction in carriageway width
• Where applicable, review existing ‘quiet lanes’ to make one-way and in later identify new ‘quiet lanes’
• Where possible, bus lane time extensions to support public transport and cycling
• Where achievable, complete existing advanced schemes

Accelerating planned Bee Network schemes:
• Where possible, MCF scheme acceleration by speeding up approval process
• Active neighbourhoods scheme potential to be on site next spring (2021)