Manchester City Council

Cycling Boosts Retail Sales

First stop this morning is to boost Manchester's retail economy as I've arrived at the Town Hall on my bike, in t-shirt and shorts, but forgot to put a shirt in my bag to change into. Normally its just socks I forget - must be a lot on my mind today.

Suitably attired I'm then off to the New East Manchester offices in Beswick to meet the Chief Executive of Goteborg (Sweden)'s municipal housing company. We're learning from them on sustainability issues and they're learning from us on the people side. Later this afternoon a stroll over to the Arndale Centre, but not for more shopping, but a meeting of the Board of CityCo, the city centre management company. The company is still inducting a new, interim Chief Executive and there is clearly a lot to do to make sure every aspect of the city centre, retail, commercial, leisure, and residential, all survive and thrive in the current economic climate. Much of this is about getting the basics right and I'm sure that's something the board will be very keen on.

Tonight's still more work after a fashion. It's the opening night of the second Manchester International Festival and I will be at the Velodrome for the premier of Steve Reich's new composition and for the Kraftwerk set. The festival programme is fantastic and I am looking forward to seeing as much as possible. A lot of it is already sold out but there are some performances with tickets available and there are a lot of free events. The next two and a half weeks should be a fabulous Manchester showcase.

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There are 11 responses to “Cycling Boosts Retail Sales”

  1. Pete Smart Says:

    The leader's comment about cycling to work prompted me to throw in a cycling comment. After years of commuting from Chorlton by bus I have recently started to cycle to work. I appreciate that the council is developing a cycle-friendly approach, but we are still light-years behind many of our European neighbours in the priority given to cyclists. There are generous cycle lanes all the way along Upper Chorlto Road. The problem is, the lanes are used for parking. Is there any point of a cycle labne if cars are allowed to park in it, and force us out into the traffic? Many other roads don't even have cycle lanes of course. A lot of the problems we cyclists have in rush hour traffic are, to some extent, out of the council's hands. It's more about deep-rooted cultural habits and the dominance of the car in the national psyche. A congestion charge may have helped - there is stil a long way to go before I feel safe on the road. I hope the leader can continue to stick up for cyclists and keep nibbling away at the car-orientated society.
    Ps - please make this 'comments' box bigger. It's hard to input text.

  2. Street Smart Says:

    Talking about changing mindsets, perhaps cyclists would start to feel safer on British roads if the actually adhered to our traffic laws, instead of running red lights, swerving in and out of traffic, randomly mounting pavements and completely ignoring give way signs.

    The odd hand signal, indicating that you intend to turn right or left would probably help drivers decipher your intentions, instead of leaving it to guess work.

    I agree that the UK could and should do more to help cyclists on British roads but I also think that cyclist road safety is (excuse the lame pun) a two way street.

  3. Steve Pickle Says:

    Street Smart: Are you a motorist by any chance?

    I think our streets would be a lot safer if motorists adhered to our traffic laws, instead of speeding, running red lights, driving against the direction of traffic on one-way street, parking illegally, shall I go on? "Professional" bus and taxi drivers are among the worst offenders.

  4. anthony southworth Says:

    I would wish to add that I ride a bike everyday to work and I can only say how lucky Iam not to have been killed what with drivers racing down bus lanes with no cameras to catch them missing me by inches they run red lights and don't give a dam about us riders.On my route we dont have bike lanes but we do have plenty of pot holes that I have buckled 2 wheels and ripped tyres and fell of numerous times only to the enjoyment of car drivers I do follow the high way code I just wish some of you drivers did.All i can say its lucky that more riders are not killed on Manchesters roads

  5. Dan Says:

    That's right, the vast majority of cyclists follow the highway code to the letter. I for one have never seen a cyclist run a red light, ride on the pavement, weave in and out of traffic, not signal, not turn their lights on etc. Cyclists pay road tax just like all other road users (???), it's not like your (car drivers) road tax, petrol tax, vehicle purchase tax, car insurance tax etc are all going towards the maintenance of the roads. You are not subsidising the cyclepaths (sic). You motorists should be ashamed.

  6. jane goodier Says:

    What planet is dan living on. I travel by bus every day and see cyclists doing their own thing daily. If a cycling test were called for most would fail.

  7. Dan Says:

    Re: Jane -
    If you hear a whistling sound, it may well be my point flying over your head.

  8. Dan Says:

    Actually, that was a little uncalled for. I apologise for the off-handed nature of my response.

  9. tristrain Says:

    More cycle lanes would be good

  10. andy Says:

    I'd love to ride to work, but dont fancy riding from prestwich dressed in bubble wrap...

  11. <a href="">Quad Bikes</ Says:

    Whilst the theory behind cycling is good for not only the economy but also the enviroment - but as like said by other commentors on this posting, the creation of cycle lanes (extra ones) would be a gret start. And, once they are created, they need to be governed much like the bus lanes in London, so if people get seen traveling in a cycle lane without permission eg: Motorcycles, Quad Bikes, ATVs etc, that they get an automatic penalty for doing so!

    Not only will this increase a healthier city, but also create revenue when it is needed the most from those who break the laws.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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