GREATER Manchester leaders are calling on the government to provide continuing funding for investment in cycling and walking.

The elected mayor Andy Burnham will today ask for the Department for Transport to give cycling and walking the same status as road investment.

Mr Burnham said: "Successive Governments have treated cycling and walking as an afterthought. This cannot continue at a time when we’ve got congested roads, polluted air and high levels of physical inactivity."

Mr Burnham hopes investment from the government would help sustain the Greater Manchester Combined Authority's plans for a £160 million cycling and walking network.

The cycling and walking commissioner for the region, Chris Boardman said: "This isn’t about riding bikes, it’s about creating healthier, better places to live, more economically-robust areas, revitalising town centres, and giving people a real alternative to driving. Our ambition needs to be matched by a funding model that is currently only reserved for other transport modes like motor transport."