Smart Transport

More people open to walking and cycling post-Covid

Almost half (47%) of respondents to a Greater Manchester Covid-19 recovery survey want to keep walking and cycling more often, when the pandemic is over.

Respondents to the survey said they were open to walking and cycling more following positive experiences on bike and foot during lockdown.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) network intelligence data also showed that cycle trips are up 25% on the same month last year (March 2020).

The number of walking trips is slightly reduced with a 10% decrease however, the TfGM data shows confidence in making journeys on foot and by bike across the city-region.

Greater Manchester has set out some ambitious goals for its transport strategy over the coming 20 years that put mobility as a service (MaaS) and active travel at the heart of its thinking.

Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “It’s fantastic that half of people living in Greater Manchester have said they plan to travel more on foot or by bike post-Covid. Many have tried it during lockdown, and they’ve decided it’s a daily habit that they want to keep. We intend to make sure they have the safe space to do it."

Data from TfGM’s on-street sensor technology has also been released, showing 10 locations where cycling levels have increased across the city-region since the pandemic began in March 2020. They are:

  • Mill Lane, Marple, Stockport – 262% increase
  • Port Salford Greenway, Winton, Salford – 244% increase
  • Fallowfield Loop, Fallowfield, Manchester – 230% increase
  • Chorley New Rd (A673), Bolton – 167% increase
  • Scot Lane Canal, Standish, Wigan – 156% increase
  • Middlewood Way, Marple, Stockport – 152% increase
  • Ashton Canal, Audenshaw, Tameside – 146% increase
  • Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Trafford – 139% increase
  • Weir Path, Woolford, Bury – 128% increase
  • Heaton Park Entrance, Prestwich, Bury – 110% increase

(Figures based on the 28 days to March 21, 2021 compared to 28 days to 21, March 2020).

To coincide with the new figures being released, TfGM launched a new active travel website showcasing Greater Manchester’s plans to deliver the Bee Network.

Boardman said: “We’re now well into our first year of delivery for the Bee Network, with 55 miles of safe routes and 17 Active Neighbourhoods planned before the end of the year.

“As activity increases, now is the perfect time to launch our new website to showcase all the fantastic new routes and street improvements being delivered in the coming months. I’d encourage residents to take a look and see what’s happening near where they live and work.”

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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