Readers’ letters - January 27

A cycle group is concerned about the impact of developments on the Guild Wheel. See letter
A cycle group is concerned about the impact of developments on the Guild Wheel. See letter
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Concerns over Guild Wheel

Please note this letter represents the views of a group of BAE Systems employees, known collectively as the BAE Systems Bicycle Users Group, and does not represent the view of the company.

As a group of cyclists who are employees at BAE Systems’ Warton and Samlesbury sites, collectively known as the Bicycle Users Group (BUG), we are concerned that a section of the Guild Wheel (GW) is under threat.

This concern comes from the proposed plans to build a number of new junctions and access routes along a section of the Guild Wheel. This will direct extra traffic, including articulated vehicles, onto the GW for the first time.

We believe that these added dangers and pollution will severely undermine the integrity of this award-winning Guild Legacy and it may greatly deter people from using it.

Many of our cyclists from Preston and surrounding areas use sections of the Guild Wheel to commute to and from work, and it is also possible to cycle between the two sites, using the Guild Wheel to make the journey much safer and scenic.

Last year a large group of BAE Systems employees took part in a popular sponsored charity ride, using elements of the Guild Wheel, when they rode from one local BAE Systems site to the other.

Over recent years, the BAE Bicycle Users Group has worked closely with the Guild Wheel Committee and Lancashire County Council in the building of a new safer cycling route from the GW at the Tickled Trout up to the main gate at Samlesbury.

This work, involving all three groups, was recognised with a special prize at BAE Systems Samlesbury – A Chairman’s Award for work in the community.

Whilst we appreciate the need for new housing and associated road infrastructure in the Preston area, we urge the county council to ensure that the high safety, scenic and environmental standards already achieved on the GW continue to be upheld and that the integrity of the Guild Wheel is maintained to the highest standard.

BAE Systems Bicycle Users Group, Rob McDougall (Committee Chairman)

Off-lead dogs a risk to cyclists

I recently attracted abuse from a dog owner in Astley Park, for having the nerve to ask them to keep their dog on a lead.

With a London borough introducing a pilot scheme of DNA registering to tackle dog fouling, it should be recognised that the problem of irresponsible dog owners is massive, and not only harms humans, but dogs as well.

Peter Buckley was a promising international cyclist who was killed whilst training (1969 and pre-polystyrene helmets), when an off-lead dog ran into his path.

The problem of off-lead dogs ‘targeting’ cyclists is still prevalent today. Also, there’s the problem of extended leads. On footpaths bordering public highways, dogs can and do run into the path of cyclists.

Cyclists will know more than most that some dogs are ‘antagonistic’ towards a cyclist ‘invading their space’. The problem is perhaps most noticeable on the likes of the Sustrans so-called safe cycle paths.

If a dog isn’t kept tightly under control, it can cause all sorts of problems. As well as causing so-called road traffic accidents with fatal consequences, there have been more than a few cases of assault by dog owners (from simply being asked to keep their pet under control), also having fatal consequences.

Would it be fair to say more deaths have been caused simply by dogs being off-lead than there are cases of blindness caused by the Toxocara parasite found in dog faeces?

Clearly, the UK has a major problem with irresponsible/lawless dog owners which has been ignored for far too long!

Name and address supplied

Bill – city’s last fishmonger

Bill Richardson, of Preston main market, confirmed to me that, to his knowledge, he is now the only remaining recognised fishmonger left working in Preston.

When he left school, he obtained employment on cleaning duties around the market areas, before he went into the Royal Navy. On leaving the Navy, and getting married, he always had a desire to return to Preston Market and set up his own section.

As a young boy he had also been keen on fishing.

He informed me that he has now been a fishmonger on his stall for 44 years to date, which is a credit to his dedication and commitment. As can be seen, his stall is extensive and the varieties of fresh fish and other items are all nicely displayed under cover, along the frontage. He also displays notices of the seas where the fish is obtained.

A visit to his fish stall is a delight and well worth while.

When Bill does decide to retire, it will be a sad day and will mark the end of another piece of Preston Market history.

Thanks Bill for all your kindness over the years to the Preston public.

John Siddall, Fulwood

(Historian)

Learn more about gardens

Over the years, many thousands of visitors have enjoyed the delights of what is left of Lord Leverhulme’s gardens at Rivington, so I am sure the news of the £3.4m Heritage Lottery Grant will been warmly welcomed.

This might seem a sizeable sum of money, but, as the Rivington Heritage Trust is at pains to point out, this will only help to arrest the gardens’ decline and falls well short of the amount necessary to restore them to their former glory.

We at Horwich Heritage have championed the cause of the gardens for many years, and only last year produced an exhibition and DVD on the Life and Achievements of Lord Leverhulme to mark 90 years since his death.

At our next monthly meeting at 7.30pm on February 9, at Horwich Resource Centre, Elaine Taylor will be speaking about Thomas Mawson, the landscape architect who designed the Rivington gardens and much more.

Stuart Whittle, Chairman, Horwich Heritage