A MULTI-million pound scheme to create cycle lanes outside Bolton train station is on track to be completed by this time next year.

Under the £7 million scheme, which is currently underway, the heavily congested junction will be upgraded so 'protected cycle tracks' can be installed along with new crossings outside the train and bus station and on Bradford Streets.

A contra-flow cycle lane will also be crated on Newport Street.

When work is complete it will be only the second Cycle Optimised Protected Signals Design (CYCLOPS) junction in Greater Manchester.

The principal feature of a CYCLOPS junction is an orbital cycle route that separates cyclists from other traffic.

The Manchester Road Gateway scheme, as it is known, is due to be completed by Winter 2021.

It forms part of the new Bee Network ­— which is 55 miles of cycling and walking routes, and 140 new crossings will be created throughout Greater Manchester by the end of next year.

Thirty-two projects will be delivered in total as part of an £85 million investment from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, who annouced the scheme yesterday, said: “It’s been years in the making, but GM’s cycling and walking revolution is finally starting.

"By next summer we will begin to see the fruits of our labour and the region’s residents will finally have the chance to travel to shops and schools easily and safely without using a car.

“Next year is going to be incredibly exciting with spades going in the ground. This is a huge step towards making Greater Manchester a true cycling and walking city-region. Projects like the Chorlton beeway and Bolton’s new junctions are world-class and they are going to open up cycling and walking as a new option for hundreds of thousands of people.

"Greater Manchester residents have told us that they want safe space to travel on foot and by bike, so this is exactly what we are delivering.”

He said the announcement of the scheme heralded "the real start of our cycling and walking story, coincidentally aligning with bike to school week".

In neighbouring Bury, the £1.8 m Elton beeway will complete a pleasant, direct route from Bury to Radcliffe via the canal towpath.

And a £2.6 m RHS Links scheme will significantly improve the on foot and by bike experience in the area, improving access to the new RHS Bridgewater Garden, Parr Fold Park, Worsley College and Walkden Train Station.

The first Bee Network signage expected to be installed in Summer 2021.