Cyclist’s paradise on The Line

The Line in Standish
The Line in Standish

The overhaul of an old Wigan railway line to create a cyclist’s paradise will soon begin with plans to open by the end of the year.

Work to transform “The Line” transport route in Standish is set to begin as Wigan Council seeks an appropriate contractor for the job.

The former mineral line, which runs 1.45km from Brookfield Road to the centre of Standish is set to be resurfaced for safe use by pedestrians and cyclists, as well as acting as a showcase for local heritage. Originally priced at £150,000 the contract is now tendering for £400,000 with work expected to begin in July.

A town hall spokesperson said: “The initial cost for the scheme was set at £150,000 as it was originally anticipated that this would be delivered in phases, however a design and specification was subsequently developed for the full extent of the Line (from School Lane to Brookfield Road) and so the estimated scheme cost was increased to £400,000 to reflect this.

“The actual costs of the scheme will be determined through a competitive tendering process which is currently under way, and we will be issuing further press information once a contractor has been selected. We currently anticipate that construction works will start this summer and that the Line will be completed and open for use later this year.

“Resurfacing will take place as well as the installation of new lights which will allow year-round use for school children, dog walkers and horse riders as well as cyclists and pedestrians.”

Funding for the upgrade has come from section 106 contributions from developers who build houses in the area.

Residents have already voiced their support for the plans when they were announced in August 2016. Julie Bibby responded to the news by saying: “A good start, need lots more of these types of paths, maybe linking Rectory Lane to Ashfield, all through Ashfield. Then across the road, past the convent football pitch and up Standish Wood Lane and across to St Marie’s Church. Sounds a lot to ask, but if all these areas had all weather footpaths/cycle paths it might encourage people to leave their cars at home.”