Cycling makes me feel free, alive, happy and generally self-reliant

Woman poses by bicycle

"Cycling makes me feel free, alive, happy and generally self-reliant"

Emily Griffiths works in Health Informatics at the University of Manchester. In this article, she talks about cycling in Manchester.

"I started cycling when I was a student, as a cheap, easy way of getting around. I sold my car and now I cycle everywhere - dropping my daughter off, going shopping. It means I’m not hanging around getting the bus or tram.

"Cycling makes me feel free, alive, happy and generally self-reliant. You can get around at your own speed. My commute entails a three-mile cycle to the station, plus 1.5 miles from Manchester Piccadilly to the university buildings on Oxford Road.

"I think cycling provision in Greater Manchester is quite good, especially when there are separate cycle lanes and you don’t have to navigate around bus stops. Routes have been well-planned and I notice that they take you over the tram lines at a wide angle. But it’s inconsistent.

"There are places where there has clearly been a lot of investment, but then half a mile later it’s not so good. The signage could be better and there are a couple of neglected spots where there is a lot of broken glass. It would be good if the traffic lights were designed for cyclists too so that they could go earlier.

"The new cycle lane down Oxford Road is great and there is more cycle parking and cycle hubs at the stations. The Transport for General Manchester hubs are quite pricey I think. The university provides secure cycle parking for staff. I think there should be more street sweeping - cycle routes should be clean, and routes should be well-sign-posted.

"Manchester could be a proper cycling city. It’s flat, and with lots of cars on the road, there are lots of people to convert."

Find out more about our 'Bike Life - Women: reducing the gender gap' report