‘Dutch-style’ cycling vision could be brought to Wigan thanks to new £80k funding package

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A funding package worth almost £80,000 could see a new “Dutch-style” cycling system brought to Wigan.

Wigan Council received the funding from Transport for Greater Manchester, which will see a study conducted over the possibility of bringing in “a mini-Holland” – a term for the introduction of Dutch-style cycling infrastructure to help make it easier for residents to move from car to bike for shorter journeys.

In addition, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority also approved last week funding of £3.37m for two other Wigan-based cycling schemes.

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These would see the existing 1.5km of improved off and on-road cycling and walking routes on the Standish Mineral Line extended by 2.1km in length.

Wigan has many miles of towpathsWigan has many miles of towpaths
Wigan has many miles of towpaths
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Some £2,313,702 of this money would go towards improving 8km of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Towpath between Wigan, Standish and Ashton – providing important links between Shevington and Appley Bridge, as well as local amenities such as the DW Stadium, Robin Park, Martland Park, Gidlow Lane and Laithwaite Park.

The Greater Mancehster Mayor Andy Burnham is keen to promote active travel in the region and these three pots of funding for Wigan will be part of that vision. The Mayor’s Challenge Fund was set up to help deliver this for boroughs across the county.

Aidan Thatcher, director for growth and economy at Wigan Council, said: “We are pleased to have been one of the successful authorities in Greater Manchester to receive £80k from TfGM which will enable us to carry out a study to explore how we can encourage active travel through the creation of ‘mini-Hollands’.

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"A mini-Holland is the introduction of Dutch-style cycling infrastructure to help make it easier for residents to move from car to bike for shorter journeys.

“Over the next year, a feasibility study will take place where details of which interventions will be agreed through extensive engagement and consultation with local businesses and residents.

"This process will focus on how our positive work at Worsley Mesnes Active Neighbourhood can continue to be built upon through the creation of quieter streets, road filters, pocket parks, as well as exploring options for future active neighbourhoods in the area.

“Active travel positively impacts our communities and our environment; helping residents stay active and healthy, contributing to meeting climate targets and making sure our borough’s air is safe to breathe for future generations.”

Wigan is the first of the five boroughs who applied for the Mini-Hollands Feasibility Study grant of £78,947. GMCA believe there is still potential to explore ways of progressing the remaining four submissions from Salford, Stockport, Bury and Rochdale.