Funding granted for two new walking and cycling schemes in borough of Rochdale
Date published: 15 December 2020
Photo: Google, DigitalGlobe
Dale Street, Milnrow
Walking and cycling in the borough of Rochdale is to get a near £1m boost after two new schemes were given the green light.
The borough has been awarded more than £900,000 for upgrades to infrastructure and facilities in Milnrow and Middleton.
The cash comes from ‘tranche two’ of the government’s Active Travel Fund, which was created to capitalise on more people taking up walking and cycling during the first lockdown.
It will enable the creation of a new cycling and walking route along Dale Street in Milnrow village centre.
It will cover a 530 metre stretch – about a third of a mile – between Edmund Street and Stone Street.
Council bosses say the project will create more outdoor space, help social distancing and give people more travel options as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
New cycling storage facilities will be installed along the route, enabling riders to store their bikes safely, while planters will create a more pleasing environment.
Meanwhile, proposals in Middleton include the part closure of St Leonard’s Street so a section of the road can be reallocated for pedestrians and cyclists.
Planters will also be installed here to improve the appearance of the area.
The schemes will soon go out to public consultation, with work set to be completed by March next year.
Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for quality of place, said he was ‘delighted’ the local authority had secured the government funding.
He added that the ‘important’ schemes would make it easier for people to make healthy travel choices and boost the environment.
Councillor Emmott said: “We’re hoping that these schemes will be the first of many.
“We’ve worked hard to map a series of potential schemes covering the whole borough, from Active Neighbourhoods projects to cycle lanes and improved cycling and walking infrastructure.
“We’re actively applying for funding for these schemes whenever it’s available and hope to be able to progress as many as possible for the benefit of our residents and the wider environment.”
A separate project to create a £1.2m cycle lane from Castleton railway station to the Manchester Road roundabout at Sudden is also well under way, with a detailed design set for public consultation soon.
Phase two of the Castleton scheme, which is part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Bee Network, will see the route extended into Rochdale town centre.
Residents of Milkstone and Deeplish are also set to benefit from an active neighbourhoods scheme. These can include measures such as the reallocation of road space and the introduction of pocket parks, to help encourage healthy lifestyles.
A public consultation is penciled in for early next year.
The proposals are part of wider plans to step up cycling and walking provision across the borough, as part of the council’s strategy.
The authority has mapped out a series of proposals that would link existing routes and create new routes, if external funding can be secured.
Greater Manchester was awarded £3.1m in July for temporary schemes such as pop-up cycle lanes.
But the bulk of Active Travel Fund monies – £15.9m – is for the longer term ‘tranche two projects’, which have just been announced.
These include the Milnrow and Middleton schemes.
A further 24 miles of permanent walking and cycling routes will be delivered across the conurbation.
The funding will see 25 schemes delivered across all 10 boroughs, to provide safe travel options for the third of GM residents who do not have access to a car.
Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
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