Time to make Space for Cycling


On Friday 25th April, Love Your Bike and Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC) are inviting people to join one of the Bike Friday [1] rides and help spread the message to councillors across Greater Manchester that it is time to make ‘Space for Cycling’.

With local council elections due on May 22nd,  the Space for Cycling campaign is calling on Councils to create the space to enable more people to cycle. The campaign will be asking local council candidates to pledge their support for 6 key themes:

  • Protected space on main roads
  • Removing through motor traffic in residential areas
  • Lower speed limits
  • Cycle-friendly town centres
  • Safe routes to school
  • Routes through green spaces [2]

Catherine Thomson, from Love Your Bike said:

Cycling needs to become a safe, convenient and enjoyable for people of all ages and backgrounds, for any local journey, it is time to make Space for Cycling”.

Jonathan Keenan, from GMCC said:

“The Space for Cycling campaign is calling on the local councils and Greater Manchester Combined Authority to make our roads safe and inviting so that everyone can cycle.”

Bike Friday provides a range of cycle rides into the City Centre from various locations into Manchester from various starting places around Greater Manchester and also works with companies and local authorities in Greater Manchester to promote cycling, improve cycle facilities and to encourage more people to continue cycling to school, work and for leisure all year round. [3]

Whether you’re new to cycling, returning to your bike after a break, or cycle every day, join us on Bike Friday. We ride at a moderate pace and have experienced ride leaders. It is entirely law-abiding – we do not try to slow down the traffic. All welcome (bring a bike).



Pete Abel, Love Your Bike campaign. Mobile: 07951 642858

Notes to Editors:

[1]  The Bike Friday cycle rides start at 8am from Chorlton Library, Levenshulme Station, Prestwich Pizza Express, Stretford Mall and Withington Library and finish at approx 8.30am at Eastern Bloc, Stevenson Square, M1 1DN in the Northern Quarter. The Worsley, Middleton – Victoria Avenue East, Stockport Plaza, Mersey Square routes start earlier. See the website for details.  The Bike Friday cycle rides take place on the morning of the last Friday of every month (except December). The rides go a moderate pace, have experienced ride leaders, are entirely law-abiding and can help people develop more confidence in their cycling abilities.

For details of the routes see: www.bikefriday.org or join the Bike Friday Facebook group www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=99198337652

[2]  The Space for Cycling campaign was originally created by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC). The LCC’s campaign in London is focussed on lobbying candidates in this year’s London borough elections.

CTC is taking LCC’s London-born campaign nationwide, working together with the Cyclenation federation of local campaign groups, with generous funding from the cycle industry’s ‘Bike Hub’ levy, run by the Bicycle Association.

See http://space4cycling.ctc.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1689&ea.campaign.id=27264&ea.tracking.id=LW

The 6 key themes are:

1. Protected space on main roads and at junctions

Often the most direct route for cyclists is along main roads – where they have to mix with fast moving and / or heavy traffic.  This can be intimidating for would-be cyclists.  We need to see protected cycle lanes on main roads that allow people of all ages and abilities to cycle.  This is distinct from inadequate pavement conversions that stop and start.  Adequate provision is all needed at major junctions.

2. Removal of through motor traffic on residential streets

Fast or heavy through traffic make residential streets inhospitable for cycling and walking.  Cycle-friendly road closures and planters are inexpensive ways to remove non-local motor traffic, creating more pleasant and liveable neighbourhoods.  Local residents can still access their properties by car, and deliveries and refuse collections would be unaffected.

3. Lower speed limits

Reducing motor traffic speeds is proven to prevent death and serious injuries to cyclists and pedestrians alike, especially children, with little impact on most journey times.  Many areas have already introduced 20mph speed zones, which should be the norm for urban streets.  Lower speed limits such as 40mph will also be needed on rural lanes.

4. Cycle-friendly town centres

Our town centres could be revitalised as places where people want to spend time, meet friends, enjoy social activity and access a variety of services.  To make these spaces more liveable, we need to prioritise people over motor traffic, prioritising walking and cycling . This can create lively, pleasant high streets that are economically viable and socially vibrant.

5. Routes through green spaces and parks

Greenways and parks provide some of the most appealing cycling environments, attracting groups currently under-represented among cyclists (for example, older people).  People use them for all kinds of purposes: from commuting to work, to weekend family outings, to shopping trips.  Considerate cyclists and pedestrians can happily get along together with the right facilities.

6. Safe routes to schools

Bringing up our children to be healthy, independent adults is one of the most important things we can do, and helping them to cycle is one of the best ways to do it. Cycling and walking to school are good for children’s physical and mental health – and our national child obesity levels are among the highest in Europe.  Less driving on the school run will make the streets safer and nicer for all.


[3] Bike Friday is coordinated by Love Your Bike (Manchester Friends of the Earth) and Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC)

Love Your Bike is an award winning Manchester based campaign aiming to promote cycling and help make it an even more attractive, accessible and fun way to get around. Co-ordinated by Manchester Friends of the Earth, the campaign works in partnership with other like-minded organisations.  See www.loveyourbike.org

Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign, working to make cycling quicker, safer, easier and more enjoyable. http://www.gmcc.org.uk/