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Technology will boost walking and cycling in Manchester

New sensors will help to improve active travel across Greater Manchester. 

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has awarded a contract to Vivacity Labs to provide video analytic sensors which will enhance both the monitoring of existing cycling and walking schemes and the planning and implementation of future schemes. 

Around 100 new sensor installations are currently planned across the region, with further installations expected as the cycling and walking infrastructure programme continues to be rolled out. 

The sensors, alongside a new data platform, will increase data coverage and enable monitoring in busy and complex environments. 

TfGM currently has 82 piezo-electric sensor-based automatic cycle counters (with only 17 of these counting people walking) across the 1,276 km² city region.

The first sensors are expected to be installed this autumn with further installations to follow.

aerial photography of concrete buildings at daytime

TfGM programme director for cycling and walking, Richard Nickson, said: ‘Giving as many people as possible access to convenient, safe and enjoyable forms of active travel will help us to build on the increases in walking and cycling we have seen during the pandemic.

‘We’ve already made great progress this year in delivering the UK’s largest cycling and walking network and have many more schemes in the pipeline as we look to give people a genuine alternative to the car, reduce congestion and help improve air quality.

‘By enhancing our monitoring capabilities, we can more effectively measure the success of this substantial investment and better understand the use of active travel modes across the region to inform our long-term strategy and delivery.’

In related news, Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is scheduled to go ahead in May 2022.

In their final Clean Air Plan, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has announced extra funding to help businesses upgrade their vehicles ahead of the CAZ.

Vans can now access up to £4.5k towards the replacement of a vehicle – £1k more than initially proposed.

Photo by William McCue

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