COMMUTERS and families are being encouraged to get on their bikes and explore a new cycle link between Ashton and Manchester City Centre.
The Ashton Canal Cycleway is a 10km traffic-free route linking in with Portland Basin and passing Guide Bride Station, Droylsden Academy, the National Cycling Centre and The Etihad Stadium - making an ideal alternative to Ashton New Road and Manchester Road.
It forms part of the first phase of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) ambitious £42 million Cycle City investment programme, funded by the Department for Transport, which has created six new cycleways designed to be attractive and convenient ways to travel by bike, linking communities with town and city centres and areas of employment, education and training.
The Ashton Canal Cycleway includes newly resurfaced canal towpaths and incorporates new solar powered stud lighting. It also links into the route along the Peak Forest Canal from Portland Basin to Hyde.
TfGM has produced a new leaflet, to promote the route, which can be downloaded at www.tfgm.com/cycleways. The leaflet will also be delivered to Tameside homes near the route.
TfGM also provides cycle hubs – including one in Ashton next to Active Ashton in Water Street – which are ideal and secure places to park bikes with confidence.
Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Peter Robinson, who sits on the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “This fantastic cycleway is a convenient, traffic-free - and in parts very picturesque route - in and out of the city centre and makes a great alternative to what is typically a very busy traffic corridor.
“Promoting cycling and sustainable travel is a priority for us and this kind of investment and project really helps to improve travel options for work, education and leisure. I really hope it inspires more people to get out on their bikes and explore.”
Councillor Chris Paul, Transport for Greater Manchester Committee Cycling Champion, said: “We’ve got big ambitions for cycling in Greater Manchester and we’re already beginning to see more and more people getting around by bike.
“Our aim is to put Greater Manchester on the map as a great place to cycle, whatever your ability and wherever you’re looking to travel. The Ashton Canal Cycleway is just one of the ways we’re looking to encourage more people to consider cycling for both work and leisure.
“Now that the first phase of the Cycle City programme is complete, we’re on the way to meeting our target of 10% of journeys in Greater Manchester being made by bike by 2025.”
Photo: Commuters/cyclists - including Tameside Council Chief Executive Steven Pleasant, Executive Member Cllr Peter Robinson and TfGM Project Manager for Cycling Andy Howard - exploring the Ashton Canal Cycleway at Portland Basin, Ashton.