Disbelief at tiny Wigan cycling lane

A cycle lane so narrow the painted picture of a bike barely fits in it has caused a storm of anger among regular riders.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:05 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:14 pm
The cycle lane on Newton Road in Lowton which has sparked fury
The cycle lane on Newton Road in Lowton which has sparked fury

Wigan Council came under fire after images of the narrow lane for those on two wheels on Newton Road in Lowton appeared on social media.

Riders said the route was lethal as drivers would be able to get too close to those cycling and it was way off the standards now being demanded in Greater Manchester.

The council admitted it was an old lane but it had recently been repainted.

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That led to more disbelief that it wasn’t scrapped, with the town hall then having to put its future under consideration. Jon Wyatt, who took the pictures, wrote on social media: “I genuinely didn’t know these were cycle lanes until now. My shoulders are wider.

“Here’s a tip, if you can’t fit the bike picture in the lane, it’s not wide enough.”

Mr Wyatt added: “The safest solution would be to remove the lanes altogether.”

Another said: “Now they’ve painted the bikes in there drivers will get angry when we’re not in the lane.”

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “As part of routine maintenance our contractor has recently refreshed the faded lines giving the appearance the mandatory lane is new. Standards of safety for cycle routes are now much higher and we are committed to providing the very best infrastructure to promote cycling and walking.

“Connecting Leigh to St. Helens and Warrington via Newton-le-Willows, including safer crossings of the A580 (the East Lancs Road), is part of our longer term aspirations for our cycle network.

“Recent focus for investment has been on the short urban trips because this is where there is the greatest potential for generating safe walking and cycling journeys.

“In that partnership we have recently successfully completed a £2million scheme at Saddle junction and we are delighted a bid of more than £14m has been made to improve cycling and walking infrastructure in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley.”

The council is now considering its options if the lane is removed.