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080408 cycling town bid trade

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					PRESS RELEASE 08.04.08

Unlocking Oldham‟s cycling potential
Oldham Borough has recently applied for Cycling Town status which, if successful, could lead to over £5m invested in cycling across the borough over the next three years. This will mean Oldham becoming one of the new Cycling Towns in England, a Cycling England scheme funded by the Department of Transport, significantly transforming the borough‟s cycle network with the aim of doubling cycling levels by 2011. The outcome is to increase levels of sustainable transportation, reduced congestion and pollution, a healthier Oldham, improved quality of life, and a means to increase tourism with Oldham leading as a centre of excellence for off-road cycling. The bid is widely supported across the cycling community and is lead by Paul Bruffell of Unity Partnership, working on behalf of Oldham Council. A decision on funding is expected to be made this summer. If Oldham is successful the borough will have established itself as a leading cycling authority through the creation of a quality cycling environment which meets the expectations of both its citizens and visiting cyclists. Paul Bruffell, Unity Partnership's Cycling & Walking Officer, comments: "To make a real difference and allow cycling to become part of people's everyday life there has to be major investment in high quality cycling infrastructure. The Council is doing all it can to draw in the levels of funding necessary to achieve this. “On the back of the Sustrans Connect 2 bid, which set the imagination of the public alight, the catalyst for real, long-term sustainable, healthy and community-orientated transportation is to become a Cycling Town. This shows our commitment to drawing in funding to create the quality infrastructure that will unlock Oldham's cycling potential." Oldham's bid places the needs of young people and families first. At the heart will be the creation of 12 miles of new and traffic free flagship cycle routes stretching across the borough that will be high quality routes, making cycling more accessible for local communities.

Other infrastructure and support elements include cycling to school initiatives, training and cycle parking facilities. A new network of mountain bike trails and courses will also attract mountain bikers, and a range of community participation initiatives will encourage community cohesion, plus many more cycling-related measures. Executive Director for Regeneration at Oldham Council Tom Flanagan said: "If we are to entice people out of their cars and into the saddle then we need to give new cyclists every support. By putting the emphasis on cycling for youngsters and their families we will be giving the next generation an excellent network of routes on which to travel in a healthy and environmentally friendly way. This is an exciting time for cycling in the Borough and this bid comes fast on the heels of our successful Sustrans bid." Brian Statham, speaking on behalf of Unity‟s Highways team, adds; “The Highways & Engineering team fully supports the submission for Cycling Town status. This really is the critical mass needed to place cycling on Oldham's map as a sustainable mode of transportation, to connect communities, and to create a safer, green and fitter borough. “The recent relationship developed between Oldham Council and the Mouchel Group also shows how the borough can now bring in wider experience of Local Authorities across the UK to provide a best practice perspective as well as ensuring the professional services are in place to make the most out of this significant opportunity for Oldham.” Ends Notes to editors: Supporting comments The following is a sample of extracts taken from across Oldham‟s various stakeholders. “Oldham intends to develop an exemplary physical environment for cycling, raise cycling levels, and by doing so, share learning and create examples of best practice. I fully support the strategic, long term role cycling can play in helping to tackle today's transport and health challenges. ” Tony Noblet, Service Director Highways & Engineering. “Oldham Council‟s bid to become a Cycling Town is fully supported by our Directorate as it clearly meets our mission to work together to secure safe, successful, healthy and happy futures for all our children and young people.”Janet Donaldson, Executive Director, Children, Young People & Families.

“Oldham Town Centre Partnership is committed to improving the accessibility of the town centre as part of investment in cycling infrastructure across the whole of the borough. The Partnership fully supports the proposal for Oldham to become a Cycling Town and its members look forward to working with Oldham Council to create a network of cycle routes for use by all sectors of the community.” Mike Flanagan, Vice Chair, Oldham Town Centre Partnership. “The Highways & Engineering team fully supports the submission for Cycling Town status. This really is the critical mass needed to place cycling on Oldham's map as a sustainable mode of transportation, to connect communities, and to create a safer, green and fitter borough. “The recent relationship developed between Oldham Council and the Mouchel Group also shows how the borough can now bring in wider experience of Local Authorities across the UK to provide a best practice perspective as well as ensuring the professional services are in place to make the most out of this significant opportunity for Oldham.” Brian Statham, Director of Highways & Engineering, Unity Partnership.

“The Oldham Environment Forum support Oldham‟s bid to become a cycling town for one of the following important reasons - the take up of eco-schools in Oldham is one of the highest nationally and improved cycling options would support our drive to increase our green „transport to school‟ plans.” Bill Edwards, Chair of Oldham Environmental Forum. “If the Cycling Towns bid is successful, cycling will become more accessible to the target groups, making easier routes for people needing entry level activity, this will have a direct positive impact on their physical activity levels and help them make positive lifestyle change.” Alan Keane, Energize Coordinator (Oldham PCT/NHS). “All in all, as you will see we are certainly very keen to support the bid for OIdham to become a Cycling Town and would be delighted to work as a partner with you. We wish you success - this would have great potential for our Borough.” Cliff Ellison, Executive Director Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. “I am delighted to report that the Team and Volunteers are completely behind the proposal and feel that Oldham is „ripe‟ for this kind of scheme. We have made many links over the last four years, schools, youth clubs, local community groups, charities and local governmental bodies, and are keen as an organization to expand and develop these links.” Graeme Marquez, Director Gremlins Cycle Centre Ltd. About Cycling England: www.cyclingengland.co.uk

Cycling England is the independent, national expert body set up by the Department of Transport (DfT) in 2005, and charged by Government with delivering programmes that get „more people cycling, more safely, more often‟. It completes its first 3-year remit in March 2008. Based on significant success in its major Cycling Demonstration Town & schools programmes alongside a detailed set of proposals called „Bike for the Future II‟ it has now been awarded £140m for the next three years from the DfT, with a £15m contribution from the Department of Health. About Unity Partnership: www.unitypartnership.com The Unity Partnership is an innovative joint venture partnership between Mouchel and Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, with Agilisys as subcontractor. Unity delivers Property, Highways & Engineering, ICT, and Customer and Exchequer services to support community regeneration, transform services, drive efficiencies and create new job and opportunities.

Press enquiries: Paul Bruffell Unity Partnership, Cycling & Walking Officer DD: 0161 770 4360 Email: paul.bruffell@unitypartnership.com Unity Partnership, Communications DD: 0161 770 1362 Mob: 07966 310919 Email: james.brisbane@unitypartnership.com

James Brisbane