“Love Cycling, Go Dutch” conference held in Manchester
The last of four “Love Cycling, Go Dutch” conferences was held in Manchester on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th November 2012.
On Monday GMCC campaigners joined local highways engineers and transport consultants at a workshop day held at TfGM’s offices, with visits to two local highways, the A56/A57 roundabout near Deansgate, and a section of Wilmslow Road in Rusholme known locally as “the curry mile”. Tuesday’s event was the main conference held at Manchester Town Hall where over 100 delegates attended, including cycling campaigners, cycling officers, urban planners, politicians and representatives from all of the major cycling advocacy groups.
Councillor Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM Committee, said: “The Dutch have a fantastic record when it comes to cycling and managing the ‘shared space’. That includes trams, so this visit is very welcome and timely in light of the changing landscape of travel in our area. With the support and advice of the Dutch Embassy we intend to achieve even more for cycling in Greater Manchester.”
The Dutch delegation, which includes Wim Bot from the Dutch Cyclists Union and Wim van der Wijk from Royal Haskoning, is in the UK on a week-long tour. They chose to visit Manchester alongside just three other cities – London, Bristol and Glasgow.
The conference included practical sessions, such as a workshop to redesign a British Road junction according to Dutch principles. Cycling safety was a key theme. Manchester City Council’s plans to improve access to the city centre include more cycle lanes and safe crossing points across the inner ring road.
Cllr Nigel Murphy, executive member for the environment, said: “Having this kind of input from experts will be invaluable. We would like to make cycling part of the Manchester way of life, just as it is part of the way of life in the Netherlands, and being able to talk directly to these people will give us a valuable insight into how we can make the city safer for the growing number of cyclists.”
Speakers at the conference included John Whitelegg, Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University, Dr Nick Cavill, a leading public health specialist and Philip Darnton, President of Cycle Nation.