According to TfGM, each year around 250 million car journeys of less than one kilometre are made, many of them school runs, and one of the aims of Beelines is to “make walking and cycling the natural choice for short journeys.”
In total, £1.5 billion will be invested in the scheme, with the initial plans announced today costing £500 million.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has allocated £160 million of the £250 million Transforming Cities Fund received from the government to the project, with planned spending in £15 per person per year comparable to levels seen in the Netherlands or Denmark.
He said: “Greater Manchester has a long history of doing innovative things and our approach to Beelines is no different.
“This proposal is bold and I make no apology for that. If we’re to cut congestion and clean up our air, decisive action is needed. I want to make Greater Manchester one of the top 10 places in the world to live and it’s action of this sort which will help to deliver that promise.
“I’ve no doubt that Chris Boardman and the 10 local authorities which make up Greater Manchester will do us proud and make journeys on foot or by bike the first choice for local trips.
“This will help to tackle congestion and it will help to tackle poor air quality, as well as boosting people’s health and fitness levels.
“We have £160 million to get us started and we have a plan that has something in it for every single
Boardman continued: “Beelines will connect the quiet streets of Greater Manchester and lead in the most direct way to new crossing points to get people across busier roads.
“People using these routes will see new, distinctive signage which will be a marker of quality and will encourage them to take more journeys by bike or on foot.
“Beelines will be lined with zebra crossings at every side road, encouraging people to cross roads with priority and without fear.
“Planners, engineers and, most importantly, local people in each council area led on creating the first draft of these plans, which will evolve in the months and years ahead.