A major new hub for cyclists riding to work in Manchester city centre was given the Olympic seal of approval today by gold medal winner Steven Burke.
The Olympic hero was given a sneak preview of the new City Tower Cycle Hub at the landmark City Tower building in Piccadilly Gardens.
The hub, which is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester in partnership with Bruntwood, will operate on a membership basis and open its doors on 12 November.
It will be the first of its kind in Greater Manchester to provide showers, toilets, changing areas and lockers, as well as secure cycle parking for up to 200 cyclists – all for less than £1 a day.
National cycle retailer Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative will also be based within the cycle hub providing members and non-members with bicycle repair and servicing facilities, cycle-based maintenance training programmes, and the opportunity to collect goods ordered online.
Olympic champion, Steven Burke, said: “It was great to see the new hub facility at City Tower. It’s got everything you could ask for as a commuter, and hopefully it’ll encourage even more people in the city to ride their bikes to work.”
Steven was joined by Councillor Chris Paul (TfGM Committee), Councillor Nigel Murphy (Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment), Bruntwood’s Brand and People Director Kate Vokes and Martin Gibbs, British Cycling’s Director of Policy and Legal Affairs.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Cycling to work is healthy, affordable and good for the environment and we want to make it easier for more people to make it the norm, rather than the exception.
“The success of the British Cycling team has made a tremendous difference to the way people think about cycling, so I’m delighted that Steven has taken the time to give his seal of approval to this major new hub in Greater Manchester.”
Kate Vokes said: “The City Tower Cycle Hub is a fantastic addition to the offer at City Tower, the New York Street business community and the wider Piccadilly area.
“Our partnership with TfGM on this initiative is supporting our commitment to creating a sustainable future by encouraging more people to cycle to work.”
Steven’s tour came as he was in town for a celebration event hosted by Manchester City Council in honour of the achievements of Manchester-based Olympians and Paralympians at London 2012.
Councillor Murphy said: “More and more people across Greater Manchester are now taking the healthy step of cycling to work, after being inspired by Team GB's wonderful cycling victories during London 2012, and this new facility will make it easier for them to come into town on their bikes.”
The hub was delivered by Globe Construction’s special works team during a 10-week build programme. Located in the basement of City Tower, the project included improved drainage systems, flooring repairs, complete mechanical & electrical services installation, partitions and wall finishes throughout.
To meet the brief, three distinct zones were created – a welcoming reception and entrance area, a large open plan cycle store capable of holding circa 200 bicycles and modern changing facilities.
Ian Threadgold, Director at Globe Construction, said: “It was crucial that our specialist team maintained a business as usual environment for the existing tenants of City Tower and that we completed a high quality scheme on time and within budget.
“We are delighted to have been involved in such a unique project; the cycle hub is a fantastic facility for Manchester’s business community.”
The City Tower Cycle Hub will operate on a membership basis. State-of-the-art equipment will provide a safe and secure facility for members to store their bicycles with access gained by use of a smartcard.
Value-for-money annual membership is available, with a special offer in place for cyclists signing up before January 2013. People can sign up to become a member by visiting http://cycling.tfgm.com/join-a-hub.htm.
The hub will be open from 6am to 8pm in the week and from 8am to 5pm at the weekend and on bank holidays.
TfGM is planning to open up other regional cycle hubs and a number of district cycle hubs throughout the region as part of its Commuter Cycle Project. The first district hub, at Bury Interchange, will open to members on Monday 29 October.
The £6 million Commuter Cycle Project is being supported by the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. To find out more, visit www.tfgm.com/cycling.
As part of the project, TfGM is also offering free adult cycle training, where qualified cycling instructors help people who want to start cycling to work get to grips with riding safely on the area's busy streets and roads. To book a session, call 0300 123 1675.