Leyland Cycling Forum campaigns for road safety

Councillors Matthew Tomlinson and Derek Forrest have helped set up a new Leyland Cycling Forum
Councillors Matthew Tomlinson and Derek Forrest have helped set up a new Leyland Cycling Forum

Cyclists in Leyland are fighting for their right to feel safe and be noticed on the town’s busy roads.

With around 100 accidents involving cyclists recorded in Leyland over the last five years, a team of keen bikers is coming together to make a stand for better provision and a safer environment for their journeys through the town.

The new Leyland Cycling Forum will meet for the first time next week to discuss ways to encourage more people to get on their bikes, looking at issues of road safety and future highways proposals.

Leyland councillor Derek Forrest, who commutes to work in Hough Lane on his bike every day, has helped to form the new group.

He said: “Leyland has so much traffic. The amount of traffic we get in our little town is every bit as congested as it is in places like Preston and Manchester.

“We want to encourage more adults, and children, to chose cycling as their preferred method of commuting to work and school, but they need to feel safe.

“That’s my main motivation behind the forum, but there are obviously a lot of health benefits to cycling instead of getting in a car every day too.”

Only around three per cent of Leyland’s workers cycle, the 2011 census found, but the number of cyclists on the town’s roads has increased between 2009 and 2012.

According to Lancashire County Council (LCC), data looking at cycle flows in certain areas of Leyland, there were 316 cyclists using the roads in 2009, compared to 408 last year.

By 2016, LCC proposes to create miles of new cycle routes in Leyland, as part of its transport masterplan.

The Leyland Cycling Forum will meet on Thursday, December 5, from 6pm until 7.30pm at the Civic Centre, West Paddock.

For more information about the forum, contact Lancashire County Council’s senior cycling officer, Alasdair Simpson, on 01772 534609 or Alasdair.Simpson@lancashire.gov.uk.

- See this week’s Leyland Guardian for a special feature on cycling statistics in Leyland, the aims of the new forum, and LCC plans to improve cycling provision in the town over the next 13 years.