A dedicated 10-mile cycle route around Leyland has been drawn up to encourage joggers, dog walkers and cyclists to get out and about.
Ideas have been discussed to create a ‘Leyland Loop’ at the town’s Cycling Forum, and the concept has now expanded to include provision for pedestrians too.
The name ‘Community Health Loop’ has now been agreed and a map has been designed for members of the forum, and the wider community, to test out the ride and offer feedback to the forum.
Coun Matthew Tomlinson, who encouraged the idea after discovering how popular Preston’s Guild Wheel cycle route is, said: “The route itself is actually already in place - people can cycle round it now.
“It’s not like the Guild Wheel where paths were created through fields especially for the project.
“We just need to make the route as safe as possible now.
“The idea of making it into a proper ‘Community Health Loop’ means that the forum can bid for funding to make improvements.”
The ride takes in areas such as Worden Park, Seven Stars, Earnshaw Bridge, Croston Road, Longmeanygate, Centurion Way, Lydiate Lane, Wigan Road, Buckshaw Village and Cuerden Valley Park.
Coun Tomlinson explained that an audit of the route has already taken place and various issued have been highlighted.
“We need signs and some alterations, such as replacing kissing gates with bollards, and creating crossings on busy roads like Longmeanygate, Slater Lane and Dunkirk Lane,” he said. “I’m really hopeful that in a relatively short space of time, we will begin to see some progress, and I really hope the forum adopts this as a project.
“I’m meeting with people from South Ribble Council and Lancashire County Council next week to talk about funding, but I know that the cabinet members for highways and health and wellbeing at the county council are really supportive of this.
“It’s a case of bringing different partners together and maybe getting community groups to sponsor sections of the route so that we can attract funding and make the improvements.”
Phase one of the route has been drawn up for people to start trying out now, and there is also a possibility that the ride will be extended in the future.
“It’s all very promising,” Coun Tomlinson added. “In the long-term, we need to be looking at future housing developments and highways plans for the area, and make sure that those proposals incorporate provision for cyclists and pedestrians.”
- To view the map, see next week’s Leyland Guardian.