Manchester launches bid to become the first European Capital of Cycling 

  • Friday 1 September 2023

More Articles

A family of four using a cycle lane.

Manchester City Council has formally submitted a bid on behalf of the city of Manchester to become the ACES European Capital of Cycling for 2024. 

This bid is the culmination of years of work which has seen a hugely ambitious expansion of cycling in both Manchester as well as the entire Greater Manchester region.  

In September the city will welcome a delegation from ACES Europe, who will decide the winning bid to become the Capital of Cycling, to meet with city partners and set out the city’s ambitions to become a great cycling city. 

September will also bring some incredibly exciting news for the cycling community in Manchester. The National Cycling Centre will reopen to the public following a two-year renovation project to ensure that the heart and home of British Cycling can continue its incredible work for the decades to come.  

Also, on September 3, one of the biggest events on the world cycling calendar – the Tour of Britain – will be making its way through Greater Manchester, culminating in an all-out sprint towards the finish line on Deansgate in Manchester City Centre. 

To be named the European Capital of Cycling for 2024 would be an incredible reward for the work done to promote cycling in the city, sparking an even greater transport revolution to get many more Mancunians into the saddle. 

By building on this accolade, we want Manchester to be in a position where we are in an even better position to bid for future funding and to continue to grow Manchester as an international city of cycling. 

Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “We’re incredibly proud to have been in a position to make this bid. Cycling is at the heart of our transport strategy for the next five years, and with the impetus this accolade would bring, I am confident we will be able to truly make Manchester a great cycling city. 

“We are determined, alongside our valued partners in the city, to capitalise on what becoming the Capital of Cycling would mean and to ensure that we can create a lasting legacy.” 

Earlier this year the Council made a significant statement on how important cycling would be in the future of the city. By the end of 2028 it is hoped that the mode share for cycling in the city would be doubled, and that cycling would become the default choice for making short journeys. This is also hoped to contribute to the target of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2038. 

Manchester is also home to the Bee Network, a £70m pipeline of funding which will create protected cycling routes throughout Manchester. More than 13km of cycleways have already been constructed, with additional routes in locations such as Ancoats and Deansgate in the pipeline. 

In addition, thought is also being given to how cycling can be a way to enable Mancunians to live healthier and happier lives. Through the Making Manchester Fairer programme – a five-year plan to tackle health inequality - cycling is recognised highly beneficial when looking to improve health outcomes. 

Councillor Bev Craig adds: “This bid could be a watershed for the city. If we seize this opportunity I am certain we will be able to delivery lasting change to our communities.” 

Gian Francesco Lupattelli, President of ACES Europe said: “We are enormously thrilled to receive a very high-quality bid for our inaugural and prestigious European Capital of Cycling award for 2024 from the City of Manchester and its partners. There is clearly some fantastic work taking place in the city to encourage people to become more active through cycling and this is being firmly backed up with a significant level of investment into the cycling infrastructure and prestigious National Cycling facility. 

“We are looking forward to bringing an international delegation to the city for the evaluation visit and seeing some of the great projects and programmes in action and we wish Manchester good luck with their mission to become ACES Europe's first European Capital of Cycling in 2024.” 

British Cycling CEO, Jon Dutton, said: “At British Cycling we’ve been proud to call Manchester our home for almost three decades, and with its vibrant communities, world-class facilities and investment in active travel, the city is leading the way when it comes to helping more people to ride more often. Being awarded the European Capital of Cycling for 2024 would be fitting recognition for the progress that the region has made.” 

Richard Nickson, Active Travel Programme Director at TfGM, said: “We are passionate about making cycling safe and accessible to everyone in Greater Manchester and are delighted to support our colleagues at Manchester City Council in their bid for the Capital of Cycling in 2024. 

“As a city-region we are already progressing with building the country’s largest cycling and walking network in the country as part of the Bee Network, which once complete will cover circa 1,800 miles and be the longest, integrated network connecting every neighbourhood of Greater Manchester. 

“The infrastructure we’re building, along with many other interventions such as bike libraries and cycle training courses, are already enabling more people to take up cycling. We’d welcome the opportunity to celebrate our cycling journey so far in Greater Manchester.” 

Was this page helpful?

Fields marked * cannot be left blank

Feedback submitted to us on this form is monitored but you won’t receive a reply. In an emergency, visit our emergency contact details page. Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.