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Castleton cycle lane plans move up a gear

21 January 2021

Plans to create a brand new £1.2 million cycle lane in Castleton are set to go out to public consultation, with residents encouraged to provide their thoughts and feed into the plans.

The proposals, to create a new lane stretching from Castleton railway station to the Royal Toby Hotel, are part of Greater Manchester's plans to deliver 1,800 miles of cycling and walking routes across the city-region; the Bee Network.

The scheme will also include upgraded crossings and the potential for new parking provision

As well as creating a brand new cycling lane in both directions, Castleton's project will also see improvements made to crossing facilities, with points at Royle Barn Road/Manchester and Nixon Street/Manchester Road being upgraded to include dedicated cycling space.

Parking and waiting restrictions will be upgraded to keep the cycleways clear, with the potential for off-peak loading in cycle lanes. Should the plans go forward in their current form, the council is proposing to create a 32-space car park on brownfield land next to Castleton railway station to support those traveling by train and using businesses in Castleton.

Cycling parking stands and cycle repair hubs could also be introduced along the route to support those travelling by bike, in addition to new paving, street furniture and lighting, and, where possible, trees and planters.

'The cycle lane will eventually be extended into Rochdale town centre'

Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for quality of place, said: "This is the important first phase of a fantastic scheme which will eventually see the lane extended into Rochdale town centre.

"Giving people more options about how they travel around the borough is really important. It helps them stay connected to the places they need to be, while reducing the impact on the environment and helping support healthy choices. COVID-19 has also really impacted the way people travel and made the need for this provision all the more important."

The consultation follows Rochdale's successful bid for more than £900,000 to the GM Active Travel Fund, which will create new cycling schemes in Milnrow town centre and Long Street in Middleton.

The improvements are also part of wider council plans to revitalise the areas around the borough's 5 railway stations as part of a brand new rail strategy.

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester's Cycling and Walking Commissioner, says: "We know that when people are given the safe space to, they choose to walk and cycle more and Rochdale's latest proposal delivers this, opening up the local area for those people who don't have access to a car; enabling them to feel confident making local journeys to the shops, work, leisure facilities or to meet friends.

"This scheme proposal has been developed to benefit both residents and business owners in the area and to generally make Castleton centre a nicer place to be and visit, so I would urge people to get involved and have their say."

The consultation is set to close at 12 midnight on Monday, 15 February 2021. If the proposals go forward in their current form, work is expected to start later this year.