Salford cyclists have been reacting to new cycle paths, which make it possible to cycle or walk from Swinton to Worsley.

The path’s main aim is to provide connections to the RHS Bridgewater, which opened last year and features a 154-acre garden.

Margaret Green is the leader of the Breeze Network, a women-only cycling and social club. She said: “We’ve come all along the canal and are having a quick break here at the RHS, and then we’re on to Leigh.

“I think this is going to be great for the North West. There’s a long way to go but it’s got be encouraging for anyone wanting to get into cycling.”

Margaret and the Breeze Network are in support of the new cycle routes, although they’re not entirely sold on the Bee Bikes themselves.

Courtesy of Faye Seager
Chris Taylor – Courtesy of Faye Seager

Another member of the cycling group, Sheila, said: “The bike locks are too far away. You can’t actually see them from the café at the RHS.”

The Breeze Network was created in 2011, and Margaret has led the group since 2017. This ride marked her 500th organised cycle with the group.

TFGM promoter Chris Taylor was at the RHS Bridgewater to inform Salford residents about the new routes. He said: “The scheme provides traffic free routes to the site, letting people make short trips to fantastic places like this.”

This is the latest route constructed by the Bee Network in Salford, with a cycle path along Frederick Road currently in the works and a completed traffic-free cycle route through Swinton Greenwork.

While the bee bikes have been at the forefront of TfGM’s promotion of the Bee Network, Chris stressed it was just as important to make the city a friendlier place for everyone without a car.

He said: “It’s walking and cycling, but also wheeling and scooting. We want to make the Bee Network accessible for everyone. If you’re disabled, or you’re on a scooter, you can use these paths.”

It also aims to tackle various other problems the city faces.

Chris said: “Traffic is a massive problem for Salford, but we see it die down during the school holidays.

“But really, school traffic only counts for 8% of cars on the road, but it clearly makes a massive difference.”

By reducing the reliance on cars, TFGM is aiming to cut traffic by 10%. To reach this target, each driver in Salford would need to cycle for to work once every two weeks on average.

Chris continued: “If we did this, we could have school holiday traffic year round! I think the Bee Network is going to help anyone and everyone in Salford in some way.”

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