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Hundreds turn up to discuss plans for multimillion pound cycle network

Chris Boardman was at the event to discuss plans for the UK's largest inner city walking and cycling route in Greater Manchester...

Hundreds of people turned up to attend a discussion chaired by Chris Boardman on multi-million pound plans for the UK's largest inner city walking and cycling route.

The Active Neighbourhood plans for Urmston, Greater Manchester got an £11.3 million funding boost earlier this month from Mayor Andy Burnham’s Walking and Cycling Challenge Fund.

The plan is to make Greater Manchester an easier place for people to get around on foot or by bike using more than 1,800 miles of routes that bosses hope will become the largest joined-up system of walking and cycling networks in the UK.

The event, held at The Venue in Urmston, on January 23 was packed out with nearly 500 people and some even were turned away at the door as Greater Manchester Walking and Cycling Commissioner Chris Boardman and Trafford Council’s Coun Kat Hynes addressed the room to discuss the plans in detail.

Chris Boardman wants to transform the Greater Manchester region by enhancing its cycle and walk routes through the Bee Network initiative.

The proposals are part of wider city-region plans that would link the area into what it is hoped will become the largest inner city walking and cycling route in the country.

Walking and cycling routes have also been proposed for Flixton, Davyhulme East and Davyhulme West as part of the scheme. 

The plans aim to encourage those living nearby to use healthier and more sustainable transport options; particularly for shorter journeys.

As part of this week's event, virtual reality headsets were available to allow people to take a closer look at some of the ideas.

After the event, Chris Boardman said: “Blown away by the enthusiasm in Urmston for their first active neighbourhood consultation.

"The best bit is it’s theirs from start to finish. Well done to all involved, gives us huge motivation to get stuck in."

Councillor Dan Jerrome, Green Party councillor for Altrincham, said: “500 people attended and some were turned away.

“The appetite for creating safe streets for walking and cycling is massive. People know that we need to get out of our cars and can now start to see the ways to do it. Very exciting.”

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