Greater Manchester councils agree to work together on cycle lanes

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Walking and cyclingImage source, Birmingham City Council
Image caption,
The government has called on local authorities to do more to encourage walking and cycling

Manchester City Council says it will work with neighbouring authorities to provide a network of pop-up cycle lanes as the coronavirus lockdown eases.

Manchester transport bosses had been accused of being "resistant" to the plans for 200km of temporary lanes.

Nearby authorities have already begun devising routes - but they came to an abrupt halt as they reached the city.

The council now says it "will work with partners to ensure that safety for all road users is prioritised".

Trafford Borough Council is among the authorities creating the lanes - which are lined with traffic cones - while Stockport wants to lay a "bus and cycle lane" on the A6.

Temporary lanes have also been created on the A56 from Altrincham and on Edge Lane in Stretford, but all stop at the border with Manchester.

Image caption,
A pop-up cycle lane in Stretford is among the routes which stopped abruptly in Manchester

Councillor David Meller said Stockport's proposals had initially been "met with resistance" and accused Manchester of blocking the ambitions of the other councils within the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

At the time the council said it wanted to concentrate on investing in permanent infrastructure to better facilitate cycling in the city.

It described pop-up cycle lanes as only a "short-term solution".

However, in an apparent U-turn, the council said in a statement: "Where neighbouring local authorities are planning to create temporary pop-up cycle lanes which approach Manchester, the council will work with partners in each case."

Mayor Andy Burnham said the current cycle lane proposals were "not the finished article".

Cycling charity Sustrans said it would be adding the pop-up routes to is national map.

A spokesman said: "It's great news that local authorities across Greater Manchester are working together."

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