A Healthy Challenge

Took part this morning in the Commuter Challenge. Five of us leaving from the car park of Crumpsall Green Methodist Church at 8am to see who would arrive at Albert Square first. There was me on my bike, Pavel on his goods bike ( carries up to 180kg ), Helen on the bus, Charlotte on the tram, and Rob travelling by car. Not surprisingly, the bikes arrived first, making the journey in fourteen minutes, twenty three minutes ahead of the next arrival.

It wasn't an entirely fair test. I was the only Crumpsall resident so had to point Helen to the bus stop, and Charlotte ( despite being the MEN's transport correspondent ) to the tram stop, and also prevented Rob from taking a route that would have seen him turning into a road closed to vehicular traffic over a decade ago. The second city crossing works also have an impact. As someone who travels regularly by tram when I'm not on my bike, I currently allow an extra ten minutes for my journey. However I do use all four modes, bike, bus, tram, car, reasonably regularly for the Crumpsall to the Town Hall journey, and generally speaking the bike is always quicker, definitely cheaper, and very much healthier.

Spent a couple of days in Liverpool earlier in the week. The Core Cities Cabinet had a very positive meeting with our LEP ( local enterprise partnership ) equivalent's Chairs on Tuesday afternoon, and the Cabinet then met on Wednesday morning. However the main reason we were in Liverpool was for the Global Leaders Summit, city leaders from around the world coming together to share their experiences, part of the International Festival of Business 2014. IFB is important for a whole range of reasons, not least, although centred in Liverpool this is a national event - a national business event not happening in London. Manchester has been actively supporting our colleagues in Liverpool, and indeed four festival events are being held here. I hope it will be a tremendous success because that will benefit not only Liverpool but the whole of the North including Manchester.

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