Lancashire County Council has outlined plans to protect and improve Preston’s Guild Wheel.
Worries have been raised by its creators and users that the 21-mile cycle route is in danger of being damaged by nearby developments, increasing traffic on hazardous sections.
Coun Jenifer Mein, leader of LCC, has now responded, saying: “Our intention is to secure funding to improve and create routes from areas where new housing and business sites are being developed which link into the Guild Wheel to, in effect, make a number of ‘spokes’ into the existing wheel. This is already underway with proposals being developed through the Preston and South Ribble City Deal to improve links into the Guild Wheel from Cottam and Preston city centre, and resurface part of the existing route which is currently unsurfaced.”
D’urton Lane, which forms part of the route is a main concern, after a nearby site was allocated for housing.
LCC has recommended measures to manage traffic during construction, should planning permission be granted. These include large construction vehicles being escorted while on D’urton Lane, with escorts fitted with CCTV.
Further recommendations would see new traffic calming on D’urton Lane, and it is hoped the proposed Broughton Bypass will stop it being used as a rat run.
Campaigner Cerise Ward said: “Although we welcome resurfacing and other improvements, this is all a smoke screen because it doesn’t tackle the real issue - construction wagons are not welcome on the Guild Wheel. CCTV cameras are not going to protect children on small lanes, only record an accident.
“A lot of money has been spent on the Guild Wheel and it’s an unbelieveable success. Spokes will mean it’s not a wheel anymore and we can’t have it compromised.”