Manchester cyclists to head out on 'Tour de TIF'

Riders backing congestion charge

Cyclists will take to the road in Manchester, England, tomorrow to show their support for moves to improve public transport and reduce motor traffic.

A referendum is being held over plans for a £3 billion Transport Innovation Fund. The money would be used to introduce a peak-time congestion charge and provide more cycle lanes. It would also pay for more buses, double-length trams and extra rail carriages.

The 80-mile Tour de TIF has been organised to encourage people to vote 'yes'. It will start at Swinton Civic Centre and pass through all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs via the town halls of Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton, Stockport, Altrincham, Sale and Trafford, finishing at Manchester Town Hall. Cyclists and councillors will join the ride along the route.

Charlie Baker, co-organiser of the Tour de TIF, said: “Voting for the £3bn Transport Innovation Fund has started. A 'yes' vote would massively increase the quality and quantity of public transport and opportunities for cyclists. Cleaner and more convenient public transport options will take cars off the road and make cycling safer and more enjoyable. Come with us on a ride round the whole of Greater Manchester and dare to dream what it could be like.”

Since the introduction of the congestion charge in London in 2003, cycling levels in the capital have nearly doubled. Greater Manchester is the second most congested city in the UK. It is claimed the introduction of a peak-time charge would reduce motor traffic by 15 percent.

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