New ‘Park and Pedal’ scheme is launched

Frank Doyle and Chris Smith
Frank Doyle and Chris Smith

Leylanders with the best of intentions to start riding their bikes more in the New Year are being given a push with the launch of a new scheme.

A ‘Park and Pedal’ project has been set up in South Ribble for people to drive their cars for part of their commute to Preston, and cycle the rest of the way.

Bamber Bridge Football Club has offered the use of its car park at Irongate, for those keen to park up and pedal into the city from there.

Chris Smith, manager of the Travel Plan Team at Lancashire County Council, explained: “The concept behind the Park and Pedal project is to try and assist people who would like to cycle to work but who feel they live too far away to cycle all the way.

“So anyone who works in Preston could bring their own bike with them, park up at Bamber Bridge Football Club and then cycle the last couple of miles into Preston.

“The A6 route can get congested at times if you’re in a car but National Cycle Route 55 provides a route right into the centre of Preston that is mainly off-road.

“We identified the car park at Bamber Bridge Football Club as one that was unlikely to be in use at times that commuters would need to use it.”

Route 55 takes in the Old Tramway from Lostock Hall to Preston, and in the opposite direction goes to Cuerden Valley Park, Buckshaw Village, and Astley Park in Chorley.

“We had been doing some work at the start of spring last year to spruce up cycle route 55 and the idea just developed from there,” Chris added.

“We think it’s a good idea because if you live more than about five miles from work then cycling isn’t really a viable option, unless you’re really committed.

“How far you live from Preston shouldn’t stop you from travelling to work sustainably. As well as saving you from sitting in traffic, it’s healthy and saves money too.”

Bamber Bridge Football Club chairman, Frank Doyle, said: “It just seems like a really good idea because it will help put the club on the map, as well as encouraging people to be more active and healthy.”