Greater Manchester's goal is to make active travel the natural choice for as many short trips as possible. The 2040 target is for walking trips to increase by a third and cycling trips to double and then double again. We must do this by putting people first, creating world class streets for walking, building one of the world's best cycling networks, and creating a genuine culture of on-foot and by-cycle travel.

If we can support more people to walk and cycle it will benefit our health and wellbeing, improve air quality and reduce congestion. Each year in Greater Manchester we make millions of journeys by car that could either be walked or cycled instead;

  • 200 million car journeys shorter than one kilometre, the equivalent of a 15-minute walk or a four-minute bike ride.
  • 800 million car journeys are under 5 kilometres, which is a comfortable 20-minute bike ride.

This reliance on private cars for transport contributes to inactivity levels; climate change; congestion; poor air quality; and significant costs such as road building and maintenance. Congestion currently costs Greater Manchester £1.3 billion each year, while air pollution contributes to around 1,200 premature deaths each year.

We know that Greater Manchester residents want an alternative to driving, with more than two thirds of people saying they would walk and cycle more if they felt safer. The research also shows that current and perceived levels of road danger cause reduced demand for active travel.

  • 47% of the Greater Manchester population would cycle more if the conditions were better; this includes feeling safer on the road, more cycle routes and easier access to bikes.
  • 21% of people said they would walk more if conditions were better, including more crossings and better-maintained surfaces.

With this appetite for increased active within the right parameters, we have an incredible opportunity to enable people to move more each day across our city-region.

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