Mountain biker calls on Wigan council for new trail

Mountain bikers in action
Mountain bikers in action

A mountain biking enthusiast is calling on Wigan Council to provide better facilities for the pastime at a well-known borough beauty spot.

The keen rider, who asked not to be named, made his appeal for a trail to be laid at Haigh Woodland Park almost exactly a decade after a similar campaign for off-road cyclists to be better catered for.

The campaign in 2009 said a purpose-built trail would be a good idea at the popular green haven to reduce conflicts on the paths between walkers and those on two wheels.

And 10 years on the local authority is once again being urged to step in and see if more can be done for mountain bikers, saying those who have tried to get in the saddle at Haigh have been prevented from doing so.

The rider said: “It would be good if the council would allow a track to be built.

“I know people have made makeshift trails but notices have been put up saying they aren’t allowed to be ridden.”

The council said that while it has no plans for dedicated mountain biking facilities at the woodland park it would be willing to discuss ideas to make the borough more active and says it is investing in cycling across the borough.

A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “We’re always happy to discuss proposals which residents feel could enhance the borough.

“While there is no plan as such currently to open a trail in Haigh, encouraging people to exercise and live healthier is of upmost importance.

“Just last month the Bridgewater Canal towpath, popularly known as the Muddy Mile was upgraded and reopened for cyclists to enjoy.

“The borough welcoming the Tour of Britain this week is another example of the facilities and routes we have to offer within the region.

“We will continue to look at any possibilities to develop recreational opportunities for residents in the future.”

The campaign a decade ago said there had been problems with walkers and mountain bikers travelling at different speeds in the plantations and a track would help solve them.

The mountain biker said a trail would also be a visitor attraction as Wigan enthusiasts travel as far afield as Wales and Scotland for a day of good riding.

The 2009 call was also backed by the International Mountain Biking Association.