Council unveils plan for miles of paths to encourage more bike use
Plans have been unveiled for a multi-million pound scheme to create five new cycle routes to connect residents to Wigan town centre.
And local residents and businesses are being invited to have their say on the proposed routes before work begins on the schemes later this year at a drop-in session next week.
Wigan has been awarded £2.1m from the Department for Transport Cycle City Ambition Grant to improve cycling infrastructure on the routes to the town centre and the neighbouring communities.
The new dedicated cycle facilities will allow residents to leave the car at home and safely travel by bike into the town centre. Along with the health benefits of cycling it is hoped the schemes will reduce congestion on busy town centre routes and reduce carbon emissions.
It will also mean residents who don’t have a car or access to public transport can access job opportunities in the town centre and footfall is increased helping grow the local economy.
Residents and businesses are invited to a the information session next Tuesday, July 18, at Newtown Working Men’s Club, Anson Street, Wigan, between 2pm and 7pm to view the routes.
There is already a keen cycling network in Wigan with four per cent of residents currently commuting to work by bike which is above the national average.
The cycle schemes form part of the council’s ambitious plans to invest in infrastructure and improve connectivity across the borough through the Deal for the Future.
The routes will be delivered in two phases to minimise travel disruption to residents and motorists. All work is expected to be completed by summer 2018.
Phase one includes: Robin Park Road (connecting the retail, leisure park and local communities with Saddle junction); Warrington Road (connecting Alexandra Park to Saddle junction); Wallgate /Queen Street junction (providing new crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and a better connection into the town centre).
Phase two includes: Saddle junction (improving routes around the junction, including a new crossing facility for pedestrians and cyclists); Pemberton cycleway (extension of Ormskirk Road cycle facility into surrounding residential areas).
Councillor David Molyneux, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We want to develop a well-connected, safe and accessible cycling network across the borough, both on highway and off road, so people are encouraged to travel by bike.
“Not only will this mean they can easily access job or leisure opportunities but it will be taking cars off the road and getting people healthier.
“These routes inbound to Wigan town centre are flat and short in distance, making them perfect for commuters who live close by.
“This is all part of our plan to grow the economy, create jobs, attract investment and build strong, healthy communities through Wigan Works.
“It’s about ensuring the right connections are in place to support our plans for growth. We need to make sure local people are connected to local opportunities and our town centres are thriving.
“The plans are still in their design stages so I’d encourage people, whether you’re a keen cyclist or not, to have a look at the routes and tell us what you think.”
Councillor Chris Paul, the TfGM Committee Cycling and Walking Champion, said: “Cycling is great for fitness and health, reducing congestion and air pollution, and it’s a sustainable way to travel around the region.
“We’ve made a good start in making trips by bike easier and more attractive in Greater Manchester and we have big ambitions to do much more to encourage people to
“By providing high-quality routes as part of an extensive network, we want to link local communities together, and with the proposed improvements to Saddle junction and Pemberton
Cycleway, people will find it easier than ever to travel to employment, education and leisure opportunities by bike.”
If you are unable to attend the event the plans will be made available online from the July 18 with an option to feedback comments at www.wigan.gov.uk
For more information please contact [email protected]