Danish Bike Life Comes to Manchester
The charity Sustrans and Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) hosted a pop-up bicycle café in Whitworth Park this week as part of research for a new Danish-inspired report to make the city more cycle-friendly.
At the start of Greater Manchester’s Bike Month baristas at the quirky Copenhagen Bike Café on a tricycle served up free coffee and Danish pastries to anyone who posed for a photo with their bike and explained what cycling means to them.
Selected photos will be used in Greater Manchester’s first Bike Life report, which includes results of a biennial survey of attitudes to cycling. The method is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, which helped to make Denmark’s capital one of the world’s most bike-friendly and ‘liveable’ cities in the world, with over a third of commuters riding a bike.
Sustrans is working with TFGM to gather views directly from local residents about cycling in the city region and find out what would encourage more people to try two-wheeled travel. Research includes telephone interviews with 4000 residents throughout Greater Manchester. The results will be released in the Bike Life report in October and will inform future investment for cycling in Greater Manchester.
Rosslyn Colderley, North West Regional Director for Sustrans said: “The Danish capital of Copenhagen was recently voted as the happiest city in the world and it’s no coincidence that over a third of its residents feel safe enough to travel around by bicycle for everyday journeys. Greater Manchester has the potential to massively increase levels of healthy, active travel and create a cleaner, safer city, in which people choose to live because of a great quality of life.”
Helen Ramsden, Head of Active Travel and Travel Choices at Transport for Greater Manchester said: “The Bike Life report will gather the views of residents in Greater Manchester about cycling and will help us to shape our future cycle plans.
“The report is all part of our commitment to making cycling accessible for everyone which includes investing in cycle routes and cycling parking as well as working with schools, workplaces and communities to encourage people to give cycling a go.”
Copenhagen is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most liveable cities in the world (see notes). The city has produced a biennial Bicycle Account since 1996, which helped remove the barriers to cycling and significantly increased the number of people choosing the bike as a form of transport. As a result 36% of journeys to work, school, college and university are now made by bike.
Sustrans is collaborating with seven cities to create Bike Life reports on current attitudes and barriers to riding bicycles in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle. In Manchester 4000 people will be surveyed randomly by telephone for their opinions. Bike Life is supported by The Freshfield Foundation.
The Copenhagen Bike Cafe is part of a series of events, activities and workshops throughout Greater Manchester in June to celebrate cycling. For more information about events as part of Bike Month please go to the Bike Month website.
For more information on Bike Life please go to the website.
Rosslyn Colderley is the new Regional Director for Sustrans in the North West, the charity which helps more people to walk, cycle or use public transport for short journeys. She comes to Sustrans from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, where she was Head of Development, covering fundraising, membership marketing and communication. As part of the Senior Management Team she had an overview of running the charity and also had various national roles focusing on income generation and leadership.