Wigan pedestrians prioritised in new proposals

Leisure activities, pedestrians and cyclists are all prioritised in new proposals for parts of the borough.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:45 pm

Wigan Council has launched a consultation to gauge local opinion on transforming the north-west section of Leigh town centre into an "active neighbourhood", which prioritises the movement, health and safety of people over cars.

If taken forward, the changes will focus on the Atherleigh Way/Twist Lane/Leigh Road area giving locals space to walk, cycle, play and chat without the concern of through-traffic and rat-running.

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Coun Paul Prescott who is supporting the proposals

The proposals are made possible thanks to the local authority securing external funding from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund as part of the city-region’s Bee Network plans.

Coun Paul Prescott, cabinet member for planning, environmental services and transport at Wigan Council 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.

“We know that rat-running poses issues and safety concerns within residential communities so as well as supporting our sustainable travel agenda, these changes will lead to improved road safety.”

Active neighbourhoods are achieved typically by using planters or bollards on some streets to make them easier to get around on foot, by wheelchair, with prams or by bike. Other options to prioritise residents over vehicles include reducing traffic at school drop off and pick up times.

They are being rolled out across Greater Manchester, with another planned in Worsley Mesnes and will be funded through the Active Travel Fund, which enables the provision of schemes that allow people to make more active journeys.

The council has already engaged with residents to find out more about what they liked and disliked about the area and this feedback has helped to shape some of the design ideas to improve the area.

A second round of consultation has now launched for the Worsley Mesnes project.

Once complete, the active neighbourhood will complement the wider regeneration of the area, which is being delivered by Keepmoat Homes and includes new housing and business opportunities.

Coun Prescott added: “As well as safety benefits, these changes will have dramatic positive effects on issues including air pollution, congestion and resident wellbeing.

“We pride ourselves on using local feedback to help develop our proposals as residents hold vital information about what may or may not work in their area.

“People are invited to submit their suggestions and comments online so we can deliver a scheme local people can be proud of.”

Although active neighbourhoods aim to discourage vehicular access, the local authority has stressed that residents’ cars as well as the emergency services will still be accommodated.

To submit your views about the Leigh town centre active neighbourhood and to view a map of the area it will cover, visit here before November 15.

Or, to submit your comments for the Worsley Mesnes scheme, click here before October 31.

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