April 30, 2015

Could Manchester Soon Become a ‘First Class’ Cycling City?

If you live in Manchester and are not already cycling, the chances are you will be soon. In a number of pitches secured by Sheffield marketing agency Diva, the city is undergoing plans to become a ‘first class’ cycling city that any cyclist will be proud to call home.

In one of its three pitches, Diva will launch a multi-channel campaign in May this year to get more people seeing cycling as a mode of transport, and not just as a sport. After running the campaign on a smaller scale in 2014, the agency now intends to roll it out to the wider region, using a dedicated website, promo materials and support from the media.

Diva has also been commissioned by CTC: the National Cycling Authority, to deliver marketing and PR for the Big Bike Revival in 2015 – a two week series of events across the country where adults and children are encouraged to bring out their unused bikes for free riding and maintenance training.

Director of Strategy for Diva Amy Boyle said to Prolific North: “We’re delighted that as market leaders in sustainable travel communications, we’re fast becoming the go-to experts for engaging and persuading audiences to change their perceptions about the way they travel.

“We’re looking forward to delivering multiple marketing campaigns that will overcome issues and tackle the stereotyping that can put people off.”

More commuters are already taking to the Manchester roads during the morning rush hour, thanks to local projects and extra funding from the government. Run by Sustrans and Transport for Greater Manchester, this diverse variety of groups is helping to improve bike maintenance knowledge and cycling training in schools and businesses, as well as create jobs for ex-offenders and provide a huge well-being boost to those suffering with depression, isolation or disability.

The groups are all part of a wider ‘City Cycle’ programme, which will include new and improved cycleways, cycle hubs and parking; education for schools and working with local businesses to get more people cycling to work.

After a series of measures unveiled by deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the end of 2014, residents of Manchester can  hope to see more local biking networks, and safer junctions and hotspots being rolled out over the next three years. Meanwhile, another £100 million investment nationwide will help to improve conditions for cyclists and walkers crossing Britain’s busiest roads – what’s known as the Strategic Road Network – over the next two years.

By Aimee Whitehill
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