Levenshulme, a cycling haven in the heart of Manchester, hosted a joyous gathering of residents and Council representatives to mark the beginning of an extraordinary year filled with exciting events. In honour of this momentous occasion, a custom-made website has been created for residents to explore all the wonders that Manchester, the European Capital of Cycling 2024, has to offer. From thrilling events to hands-on bike experiences, the website also provides guidance and support for those looking to embrace the pedal power revolution.
The Council’s successful bid to ACES, the governing body of the Capital of Cycling programme, has paved the way for an exhilarating time for cycling in Manchester. With a firm commitment to cycling as a vital mode of transportation, the Council plans to expand cycle lanes across the city and implement strategies that encourage people to shift away from conventional means of transport. By the end of 2028, they aim to double the number of people using bikes for their daily commutes, making cycling the primary choice for short journeys in the city.
During the celebratory event, the public had the opportunity to experience the joys of cycling firsthand. Various rides were organized, ranging from leisurely trips to Debdale Reservoir to longer journeys to the Wythenshawe Bike Track. The expansion of such events, along with efforts to enhance cycling opportunities for all, will be pivotal in shaping Manchester’s year of cycling.
Recognizing the financial challenges faced by residents, the Council aims to break down barriers and ensure that cycling is accessible to everyone. Being the Capital of Cycling provides an ideal opportunity to achieve this goal and transform the cycling landscape in Manchester. Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, expressed her excitement about the year ahead and the potential to attract interest and investment to the city, while also improving community cohesion, physical and mental health, and air quality.
Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, expressed gratitude for the support received in making Manchester the first European Capital of Cycling. With a strong cycling network already in place across Greater Manchester, he anticipates its growth over the next 12 months, leading to prosperity and benefits for residents.
Gian Francesco Lupattelli, President of ACES, praised Manchester as a model for sports and mobility. He expressed confidence that the European Capital of Cycling award will further enhance the city’s development and sustainable future.
Great Britain Cycling Team track sprinter, Harry Radford, shared his delight at Manchester’s prestigious title. Having started his cycling journey in the city, Radford emphasized the transformative power of cycling and encouraged everyone to embrace the joy and community spirit that cycling brings.