Sale and Stretford sit either side of the M60 motorway and are also separated by the River Mersey. For local people it was impossible to walk or cycle from one to the other without using very busy roads. The most direct route involved travelling next to the traffic on the A56 – an extremely congested route. Pedestrians could use the Bridgewater Canal towpath that runs parallel but its narrow, uneven and often muddy surface made this unappealing. Inevitably, many local everyday journeys that could have been made by foot or bike were made by car.
“ It’s brilliant - my daughter and I get on the towpath and use this route to come into Sale all the time. It gives us a bit of exercise and fresh air and where it has all been re-done we can even get out to the Transpennine Trail and go for picnics and days out. ”
Sustrans refurbished a key stretch of canal towpath between Sale and Stretford, transforming it into a safe and properly surfaced traffic-free route for both walking and cycling. It is now much easier to access the towpath and there are greatly improved onward links to workplaces, schools and other amenities.
As a result of the improvements the number of people using the route has risen dramatically. It is extremely popular with commuters and with staff and pupils at nearby schools. People also use the route to get to local shops and other facilities, to visit family and friends or to simply spend time enjoying this pleasant and attractive outdoor space next to the historic canal. Our research shows that people choosing to cycle this route rather than drive can potentially save £650 per year.
Find out how we’re transforming local travel across the UK. Call 0117 926 8893, email [email protected]rans.org.uk