Work starts on Wigan's first £600k 'active neighbourhood' scheme to make streets safer

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Work has started on the first “active neighbourhood” in Wigan, which will see pedestrians given priority over cars.

The streets of Worsley Mesnes will be transformed in the £600,000 scheme, which has been developed by Wigan Council and funded by the Department for Transport.

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The changes will focus on the people who live on the estate and surrounding areas, giving them space to walk, cycle, play and chat without worrying about through-traffic and rat-running.

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Tyrer Avenue is one of the streets included in the active neighbourhood scheme.Tyrer Avenue is one of the streets included in the active neighbourhood scheme.
Tyrer Avenue is one of the streets included in the active neighbourhood scheme.

There will be new crossings and traffic-calming measures, tree planting, new signage, off-road path widening and lighting.

It is hoped the measures will make it easier for people to get around on foot, by wheelchair, with prams or by bike.

The scheme is being carried out after two rounds of public consultation with residents and businesses were held in 2021.

Coun Paul Prescott, the council’s cabinet portfolio holder for environment, transport and planning services, said: “Active or ‘low traffic’ neighbourhoods, in their simplest form, are about creating safe, attractive spaces for people to socialise or spend time in and for children to play.

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“They also aim to reduce congestion caused by motorists and through-traffic, which has a positive impact on air quality and improves road safety.

“Prioritising walking and cycling in this way also makes it the easier option for residents to get around, which improves overall health and well-being.

“We listened to what residents told us during the consultation and have amended the plans in light of their comments.

"What came through strongly was that safety for primary school children was a key priority and the plans reflect that.”

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The work will be phased to minimise disruption to residents and businesses in the area, with steps monitored to see the impact the project is having.

Work is expected to be completed this summer.

The council also plans to introduce similar schemes for safer roads in Golborne and Leigh.

The active neighbourhood scheme will complement the wider regeneration of Worsley Mesnes, which will see new homes and retail space, as well as landscape improvements.

The first phase of the project, which involved the demolition of a number of flats on the estate, has already been completed.