What’s happened to the Loop?
A councillor has requested an update from South Ribble Borough Council on the Leyland Loop. Councillor Claire Hamilton said residents had contacted her about the cycle scheme.
In March 2015 the trail was a concept through the Leyland Cycling Forum to link areas of green space around the town. Schools, parks, shops and other amenities will also be linked over time, with walkers, joggers and families also attracted, too. Natural play areas, exercise equipment, trim trails, public art and community maps and notice boards were also part of the ambitious plans.
Lancashire County Council agreed to invest £565,000 to complete the first three significant sections of the route, totalling eight miles.
Councillor Hamilton says three years on . . . “and the question is extremely valid, what is the current status, and more significantly, what has happened to the investment funds?”
The project was put forward by councillor Matthew Tomlinson. He said a lot of partners were involved in the scheme, including South Ribble Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council.
“It was realy frustrating last year when South Ribble completed a section along the River Lostock between Lower Meanygate and Dunkirk Lane, that’s been done. I’m frustrated and wish they’d get on with it. Like a lot of projects South Ribble are involved with, considerable uncertainty in leadership has meant things haven’t progressed as we would all like.”
He said the project had not been shelved, though.
South Ribble Borough Council said it had committed £17,000 to a demonstrator section which was delivered in the first half of 2018. The rest of the money was pledged by Lancashire County Council.
A county council spokesman said: “The concept of the Leyland Loop is an aspiration of the Leyland Cycle Forum, and something we support as part of our wider strategy to improve cycling and walking options, however delivery of significant parts of the route has always been closely linked to the progress of housing and business developments in the area.
“The county council committed £565k towards three sections of the Leyland Loop in 2015, and improvements to the first section from Cuerden Valley Park to Heald House Road have already been delivered. South Ribble Borough Council has also completed improvements to the section of path across their land between Longmeanygate and Dunkirk Lane to ensure the path lines up with the county council’s design for the crossing point at Dunkirk Lane.
“Our work is currently focused on improving the section from Worden Park to Earnshaw Bridge, with designs nearly finished for crossing points on Dunkirk Lane and Slater Lane, and design work taking place for a new bridge to replace the narrow bridge across Mill Brook. We hope to be able to deliver these improvements later this year.
“We will be seeking opportunities for external funding to improve the section from Croston Road to Lancashire Business Park as business developments in the area, such as the Cuerden site, come forward, and will draw on the funding already committed by the county council when it is needed.”