Cycling to Wigan town centre just got easier thanks to new parking facilities that residents will love.
Eight custom heart-shaped cycle hoops are being installed which will allow cyclists to park safely in key town centre locations, making it easier to travel by bike.
Wigan has been awarded £2.1m from the Department for Transport Cycle City Ambition Grant to create five new routes which will connect neighbouring communities to the town centre.
Local residents and businesses were given the chance to comment on the routes before any work begins in 2018.
Wigan Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have taken the comments into consideration and are now revising the designs.
One of the suggestions that came out of the feedback was to ensure there was sufficient cycle parking in the town centre. The council has been awarded a further £15,000 funding from TfGM to install the parking hoops.
The facilities are part of Wigan Council’s plan to invest in cycling infrastructure across the borough to connect local people with opportunities and improve their health and wellbeing.
Karl Battersby, director for economy and environment at Wigan Council, said: “We were pleased with the response to the plans from local residents and businesses. We really value the feedback from keen cyclists and have listened to the comments, which included putting more parking facilities in the town centre.
“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.” 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.
Karl continued: “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.
“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.”
Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “By providing more places for people to park their bikes, 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.
“Greater Manchester has made a good start in making a trip by bike easier and more attractive and we have big ambitions to do much more to enable more people to walk and cycle short journeys.”
The routes will be delivered in two phases to minimise travel disruption to residents and motorists.
The first phase of work will begin in early 2018 with all work 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) and Pemberton cycleway (extension of Ormskirk Road cycle facility into surrounding residential areas).
For more information, view the plans and read suggestions from residents.
Contact Major Projects for more information.