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Coronavirus: Cycling and Walking information and advice

Updated: 4pm Tuesday 26 May

In order to protect people, ease pressure on our public transport system and keep traffic levels at bay, we’re encouraging everyone to walk and cycle, if they can.

One third of all journeys under 1km in Greater Manchester are made by car – that’s about a 5 minute bike ride or a 10 minute walk. As we continue to ask people not to use public transport and with a third of households across GM having no access to a car, we know people will be in need of other options. That’s why we’re working with districts across Greater Manchester as part of the #SafeStreetsSaveLives programme to create extra space for the increasing number of people choosing to travel on foot or by bike.

If you’re already cycling or walking – keep going! Whether it’s for work or leisure – you’re doing your bit to help minimise the spread of the virus whilst getting a great boost for your physical and mental health.

Returning to School

Following the announcement from the Government that there will be a phased reopening of schools in England from Monday 1 June, we want to keep pupils and parents informed about the guidance around travelling to school.

Government guidance is that students should avoid public transport where possible and trips to school should be made by cycling and walking.

If pupils must use the bus or public transport, you can find out more here.


During lockdown, walking and cycling have played an increasingly important role for essential journeys and exercise. Greater Manchester local authorities are putting in a number of temporary measures to give pedestrians and cyclists more space to make them safer when travelling.

Find out more about the #SafeStreetsSaveLives campaign and the measures proposed by your Local Authority here.

Tips and advice

If you’ve recently changed your travel habits and are now cycling to work, or are considering it, great! You’re playing a role in cutting down congestion and cleaning up our air. We’ve put together some advice to help:

Find the best & safest route using a journey planner

  • TfGM have a range of cycling maps covering each district and the whole region, available here.
  • Cycle Streets is the national cycle journey planner, which lets you plan routes from A to B by bike.
  • Google maps is always helpful!

Make sure your bike is safe to ride

  • If you need a new bike and your employer is signed up to the Cycle to Work scheme, you can find all you need to know here.
  • If you have a bike already, but it needs some work to get it back on the road, cycle shops are still open for repairs and maintenance. Sustrans has put together a map to help you find your nearest open bike shop. You can find out more here.
  • These simple maintenance guides from Cycling UK guide you through essential basic maintenance checks.
  • If in doubt, always seek professional advice from your local bike shop.

Make sure you understand how to ride safely on the road

  • Cycling UK has some helpful videos with tips on how to have a safer journey.
  • British Cycling has also produced a ‘Commute Smart’ video to help you get to grips with the basics of commuting by bike.
  • Data shows that women are less likely to feel confident cycling than men. Women’s only Breeze sessions will help you build confidence as part of a friendly, inclusive group

Make sure you’re prepared to deal with a problem

  • Before you leave the house carry out a quick M-Check.
  • Check out this quick guide for advice on what you should carry with you should a problem arise.
  • Bike Radar provides a step-by-step guide to patching an inner tube, so you don’t get caught short.

Safely lock up your bike

  • It sounds obvious, but there are recommended ways to lock your bike to ensure you make it as hard as possible for someone to steal your bike.

If you have any further questions or would like more detailed advice, or are a business looking for advice on how to encourage and enable your employees to commute by bike, don’t hesitate to contact the Sustainable Journeys team at who will do their best to help.

Keeping active

It’s important that through this time we all try and stay active for our physical health and also our mental wellbeing. Our partners have lots of great ideas of how to stay active and keep moving without leaving the house, or how to stay safe and responsible if you do exercise outdoors.

When exercising, for example when taking a walk, run, or cycle - ensure you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household. For guidance on keeping moving during this time responsibly, visit the Greater Sport website.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on local walks, find a selection of routes and maps here.

Cycle Training

In prioritising the health and safety of trainers and attendees, we have decided to cancel all cycle training courses for the foreseeable future.
Further updates will be provided in due course.

NHS bike support

If you work for the NHS and are thinking about changing your travel habits to cycling during this time and would like help sourcing a bike, please get in touch with our Sustainable Journeys team at and they will do their best to help.