Plans for two new major walking and cycling projects

Works at The Saddle to improve cycling infrastructure
Works at The Saddle to improve cycling infrastructure

Plans for two more major infrastructure projects to boost walking and cycling in the borough will be considered by regional political bosses.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will next week ask the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) for funding for three schemes, including one in Gidlow and Swinley near Wigan town centre and one close to the Bridgewater Canal in Astley.

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Work is already well under way on improving The Saddle junction near Robin Park for those on foot or on two wheels as part of the same regional masterplan for a greener, cleaner transport system.

However, the delays resulting from the roadworks have led to complaints from motorists.

If the new schemes are approved Wigan Council will provide tens of thousands of pounds in funding along with money from the regional Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund.

The Swinley and Gidlow scheme is for pedestrians and will involve putting 30 new road crossing points in across the area.

The project is expected to cost in the region of £700,000, including a £20,000 contribution from the town hall.

GMCA will also consider a plan for improvements to 0.75 miles of the surface of paths alongside the canal in Astley, as well as boosting access and installing more signs.

This is expected to cost around £250,000, with £37,000 coming from the council and £25,000 from the Bridgewater Canal Company.

The latest projects bring the total planned spend on cycling and walking across Greater Manchester to around £67m, with 24 confirmed projects so far delivering 144 new and upgraded crossings and junctions as well as 26 miles of cycling and walking routes.

This includes nine miles of Dutch-style cycle lanes that are separated from motor traffic.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is about enhancing neighbourhoods so that they work for people, making trips on foot and

by bike the most attractive and easy way to travel.

“Well done to all Greater Manchester councils on the schemes proposed so far and we look forward to many more being put forward in the New Year.”