Lockdown Testimonials

In Person or Via Email

[Note to press/media – the contributors to this section have all agreed to be quoted. For any questions to WalkRide GM, please contact nick.hubble@walkridegm.org.uk.]

Hafsa, Moss Side:

“Cycling seems like a no brainer – less pollution, cheap, able to social distance, keeps you fit…Only thing that’s stopping me is unsafe roads.”

Magda, Fallowfield:

“I have just recently come back to cycling after a break. I am usually accompanied by my 8-year-old son and we cycle in Platt Fields Park. Although the park itself is very cycle-friendly, I would appreciate it if more cycle lanes were available to offer better and safer experience to my son. It would also allow us to travel longer distances and visit more places. That could be especially beneficial for families during the current situation and upcoming summer holidays.”

Nelda, Moss Side:

We have started cycling during lockdown too, and having a one-and-a-half-year-old (who refuses to wear a helmet) on the baby seat at the back of the bike makes me wish for more cycle lanes.”

Audrey, Levenshulme:

“I drive to work 5 days a week – it’s a 3 mile trip. I have a lovely bike sat in my shed and have started to get out on it a bit more during lockdown. My work are amenable to me cycling in and have facilities so that I can lock my bike up and get changed. But I can’t take advantage of this as part of my commute involves cycling along the A57. I have cycled along this route a few times during lock-down but each time I’ve been terrified, and this is during a time when there’s fewer vehicles on the road! If we had pop up bike lanes along the A57 I would be able to cycle in every day!”

Also as a car driver I was expecting there to be more bike lanes as we came out of lockdown! The national scheme has been well publicised. I’m amazed that there aren’t going to be any in Manchester. I’m sure I’m not the only driver to be anticipating more infrastructure for cyclists, it just seems that we’re not taking advantage of this opportunity.”

Eleanor – aged 16, Levenshulme:

“Having pop up bike lanes would mean a lot to me and make it easier for me to travel to and from college when I start in September. The roads are too dangerous for me to be comfortable cycling on them and there is only one bus service each morning. This means that I will always have to arrive at college at the same time, even on days where I might not have lessons until the afternoon and also assumes that I’ll be able to get onto the busy bus.

This doesn’t offer me the same flexibility as a bike would and bike lanes on the main roads would make it much easier for me to get in my daily exercise, freeing up more time for me to focus on my a-levels.”

Miles – aged 13, Levenshulme:

“I usually cycled to school before it closed but there is nowhere else I can safely cycle to as I live just off Stockport Road. Bike lanes along Stockport road would mean I could finally travel to friends and shops in an eco-friendly and healthy way.”

Jess, Burnage:

“I left a job once because it required me to cycle in Manchester City centre and I was in mortal fear all day because of the poor cycling provision. I don’t know how deliveroo cycling delivery people do it… I’m sure if cycling was safer less confident cyclists would give cycling a go.”

Clare, Poynton:

“I work at the University of Manchester, on the Oxford Rd corridor. I live in Poynton. Until mid-March 2020 I got the train to work, with a walk at either end of the train journey it takes just over an hour. For obvious reasons I have been looking into alternative modes of transport; I’d rather avoid the train at the moment, and I don’t want to add to road congestion issues so I looked into the possibility of buying an e-bike. I believe it would be a similar commute time, and e-bikes are becoming more and more affordable. Unfortunately there is one major bus-shaped stumbling block; the most direct route from Poynton to Manchester is along the A6, so I would be sharing the road with the 192 bus route, along with hundreds of car commuters. Risking my life to get to work is not high on my to-do list, so until better infrastructure for cyclists is put in place I will have to use my polluting car. Please put a cycle route along the A6.”

Lyra (pictured below on the Fallowfield Loop) – aged 5, Burnage:

“I’d love to cycle on proper cycle lanes on the road. I could stretch my legs and not always have to sit on your [her mum’s] bike. I’m frustrated I can’t cycle on the road with my bike.”

Lyra Testimonial

Irina, Urmston (pictured below with her two children in their trailer):

“I’ve absolutely LOVED getting out on my bike with my children and husband during lockdown.

It provided much needed exercise but also an opportunity to explore new areas where we would normally not venture on our bikes due to traffic. We have a trailer for our kids (1 and 3 years old) and our newly gained confidence on the road has meant us selling our second car and deciding to do the nursery run and commute on our bikes!”

Irina Testimonial

Shan, Bolton:

“Although lockdown has been challenging overall, one of the positives is that I’ve enjoyed walking and cycling to new places in my local area. I’ve seen lots of other people also out walking and cycling in places I never have before, including families with children on the roads and even Gilnow Road and Chorley New Road, which would have been unthinkable before!

The impact for me has been biggest when cycling, as at least when walking you have a pavement. Normally when cycling, I have to pick my routes and times to avoid the heaviest, fastest traffic. Because I have a light bike and have cycled for years, I will go on busier roads if I need to, but it is rarely a pleasant experience. The situation during lockdown has been a revelation and felt like I’m abroad. The greater number of other people out on bikes has also made me feel safer. I’ve been to places that are quite close by, but I never went there before and wondered why – but it’s because normally it would have been such an unpleasant experience with aggressive, high-volume traffic, difficulty making right turns and just generally feeling the road was not a place I should be on a bike.

Now the traffic levels are increasing and, with people not able to use public transport, may even go higher than before. As I don’t have a car and shouldn’t be using public transport or getting lifts unless I absolutely have no other choice, for the foreseeable future if I can’t walk or cycle somewhere I can’t go there. I do not want to feel like I used to when cycling round the borough and want other people to be able to carry on cycling too.”

Joanna, Levenshulme:

It was quite a shock when lockdown began as I always worked full-time with two kids. I needed to get in shape and realised exercise is a part of my life in which I didn’t participate. I live across from a cycle path but didn’t feel comfortable walking in that type of enclosed space. The weather was nice so me and the kids walked and walked… It was bliss and all the uncomfortable feelings began to fade. One day led to another and I was walking 10k and leading to such lovely scenery.

Two weeks into lockdown, I bought a bike. I had not ridden a bike since I was 17, so obviously I was nervous. I walked to the cycle track with my bike as I’m so conscious of traffic. It started with 5k, 10k, and now I’m doing 26k, visiting Chorlton and Sale Water Park. I lost weight and I feel really good. I can’t imagine never riding a bike again and I had spent so much of my adult life driving everywhere.


Via Twitter