Preston’s iconic Guild Wheel is “not under threat”, according to the leader of the council.
Campaigns have been launched to save the 21-mile greenway, raising fears over the impact of housing developments and access roads on the route.
But leader of Preston Council and keen cyclist Coun Peter Rankin, said he felt “very strongly”, and insisted the Guild Wheel was not at risk.
He said: “My position is the Guild Wheel is not under threat.
“The Guild Wheel is changing, certainly, there are parts of the Guild Wheel that in the short term are going to be subject to construction traffic, and obviously County Highways is going to have to pay extra attention to safety while that work goes on.”
Coun Rankin has submitted a notice to next week’s full council meeting, welcoming the creation of a “North Western outer loop” of the wheel, extra “spokes”, and the creation of a cycling hub at Preston Railway Station.
He said: “It’s an attempt, really, to say to these people who are concerned that they have no need to be concerned, that in fact there’s a lot of funding going into cycling in parts of Preston that are going to be subject to housing developments.
“As part of those housing developments, there will be cycle tracks and I, personally, think the future of cycling is very rosy indeed in Preston.”
Coun Rankin’s move follows a call from the Guild Wheel’s co-creator Peter Ward to “reaffirm” the city’s support for it.
He addressed a full council meeting in December, saying he wanted to keep the greenway “as it is”, and asked Coun Rankin to submit a notice to the council to do “all within its power” to preserve the features of the Guild Wheel.