Guild Wheel detour could help solve traffic headache

Ron McDougall
Ron McDougall
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Preston’s iconic Guild Wheel could be re-routed to make it safer for cyclists, runners and walkers.

Campaigners fighting to rid the 21-mile greenway of two traffic blackspots have been offered a diversion from Fulwood to Lea which could help solve one of them.

“In principle this looks very promising,” said Rob McDougall who represents the BAE Systems Bicycle Users Group (BAE BUG). “The alternative route should offer a safer passage for users as the majority of the (new) section is off-road.

“This means that users would be able to avoid the proposed crossing point on Sandyforth Lane along with the likely increase in traffic flows that future housing developments may bring.”

The detour idea, for the north-west arc of the Wheel, was put forward by the City Deal team at a cycle design committee meeting at County Hall on Friday. Rob, who has been attending the meetings since 2011 on behalf of BAE BUG, stressed the proposed detour would not be a replacement, as the existing route would still be maintained.

Concern has been growing over the number of housing developments and their associated road infrastructure plans being approved along the route of the Guild Wheel since it was first opened three-and-a-half years ago. Two troublespots - Sandyforth Lane and D’Urton Lane - have been highlighted.

BAE BUG includes dozens of cyclists who use the Wheel as part of their daily commute to Warton and Samlesbury sites. Rob said: “We are concerned that a section of the Guild Wheel is under threat. 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.”