Manchester launches bid to become the first European Capital of Cycling

Posted: 1 September 2023 | | No comments yet

As part of its commitment to become a carbon-neutral city by 2038, Manchester is making significant strides toward establishing itself as Europe’s first cycling capital.

Manchester launches bid to become the first European Capital of Cycling

Credit: Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council has announced that it has made a bid to become the ACES European Capital of Cycling for 2024, underlining the city’s unwavering commitment to promoting cycling across Greater Manchester.

In a significant development in September 2023, ACES Europe representatives will visit Manchester to scrutinise the bid and delve into the city’s vision for transforming itself into a premier cycling hub. Coinciding with this assessment, the National Cycling Centre, a cornerstone of British Cycling, is set to re-open its doors to the public after a two-year refurbishment.

The spotlight on Manchester’s cycling aspirations will shine even brighter on 3 September 2023 when Greater Manchester will be hosting the Tour of Britain event, culminating in an all-out sprint towards the finish line on Deansgate in Manchester City Centre.

Securing the title of European Capital of Cycling for 2024 would spark a transportation revolution in Manchester, motivating more residents to embrace cycling as a sustainable means of travel. This recognition could also pave the way for future funding opportunities, further bolstering Manchester’s aim to become a carbon-neutral city by 2038.

Already, Manchester’s ambitious Bee Network project, backed by a £70 million investment, is creating protected cycling routes throughout the city. Over 13 kilometres of dedicated cycleways have already been established, with additional routes planned for key areas like Ancoats and Deansgate.

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Manchester’s commitment to cycling extends beyond transportation concerns. The city is also committed to enhancing the health and wellbeing of its residents. This mode of transport plays a pivotal role in the ‘Making Manchester Fairer’ programme, a comprehensive five-year initiative aimed at addressing health inequalities within the community.

Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have been in a position to make this bid. Cycling is at the heart of our transport strategy for the next five years, and with the impetus this accolade would bring, I am confident we will be able to truly make Manchester a great cycling city.”

Gian Francesco Lupattelli, President of ACES Europe, said: “We are looking forward to bringing an international delegation to the city for the evaluation visit and seeing some of the great projects and programmes in action and we wish Manchester good luck with their mission to become ACES Europe’s first European Capital of Cycling in 2024.”

Richard Nickson, Active Travel Programme Director at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), said: “We are passionate about making cycling safe and accessible to everyone in Greater Manchester and are delighted to support our colleagues at Manchester City Council in their bid for the Capital of Cycling in 2024.”