Railway Paths

Fallowfield Loop Line, Manchester

The reopening of Lattice Bridge, 2012. Picture by Sustrans volunteer C. Harnasz

The Fallowfield Loop was previously part of the old Manchester Central Station Railway, built in the 1890s. In 1995 a group of cycling enthusiasts conducted a study into the line’s potential for a cycle route, and an active Friends of the Fallowfield Loop group started campaigning to this end.

In 1998 the former railway was acquired by Railway Paths Ltd.  Funding was obtained from a New Opportunities Fund Lottery grant and Manchester City Council and the route was opened in summer 2003.

At almost eight miles long, the Fallowfield Loop is thought to be the longest urban cycle way in Britain. It is a well used off-road cycle path, running through and linking into the highly populated areas of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Fallowfield, Levenshulme, Gorton and Fairfield.

The route forms part of Routes 6 and 60 of the National Cycle Network . For a route information sheet and further information, visit the Sustrans website.

Training for an arctic expedition on the Fallowfield Loop.

It also creates a linear park and wildlife corridor, linking parks and other open spaces. The route is listed on many websites as an accessible cycle route (for example Sky Ride) and is used for group cycle rides, families enjoying a safe place to learn to ride, dog walkers, and even training for expeditions.

As part of a the project, a number of bridges along the line were strengthened with the support of Manchester City Council. The latest bridge to be restored is known as Lattice Bridge, using Department for Transport Links to School funding.

For updates on the latest activities on this route, please visit Friends of the Fallowfield Loop news page.