In last month’s Heatons Post, I wrote about the need for a transport revolution in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, so that we move around in a more sustainable way that improves the quality of our air and our lives.
I was delighted, therefore, to see the plans for pop-up cycle routes around Greater Manchester during this outbreak, including one parallel to Wellington Road North (the A6) through the Heatons. With fewer cars on the roads, this is a fantastic way of getting more people moving around in a more sustainable way.
You may have seen, though, that Manchester City Council were refusing to allow these routes to continue into the city centre. This decision angered me as I felt that it endangered lives and potentially also increase pollution. I very publicly urged the Council to rethink this decision and thankfully they have now announced that they will work with neighbouring boroughs – including Stockport – to make these lanes work.
Whilst pop-up cycle lanes are a fantastic development for the time-being, we also need to think well beyond the current global pandemic however. One of the key things that I would like to see done is to accelerate the Bee Network. This is an exciting proposal, led by former gold medal-winning cyclist Chris Boardman, for 1,800 miles of cycling and walking network across Greater Manchester. As I mentioned last month, the Heatons is part of one of the proposed routes.
Community groups are key to developing a new approach to transport, which is why it’s great to see the newly formed Walk-Ride Reddish Group. I’m sure they will inspired by the great work that the existing Walk-Ride Heatons Group have done.
Whilst I hope that in the main our lives return to normal as soon as possible once the outbreak is over, it would be great if we see some substantial positive changes in transport so that we have a greener and healthier future.