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Guild Wheel campaigners express ‘dismay’ at Lancashire County Council’s plans to protect cycle route

Posted on - 13th November, 2015 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - College, Fulwood, Greyfriars, News, Politics, Transport
guild wheel sign

The Guild Wheel loop has become a popular route for cyclists and walkers alike

Cycling campaigners have hit out at Lancashire County Council following an announcement about the Guild Wheel.

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Last week the leader of the county council pledged to protect the popular 21-mile cycle route around the city.

However members of the Save Our Guild Wheel campaign and the Guild Wheel User have expressed their ‘dismay and disbelief’ at the council’s plans.

In a statement released to Blog Preston they say: “We read the plans from Lancashire County Council to protect the award winning and popular Guild Wheel with dismay and disbelief.

“First the Council tried to play down the impact of the plans to direct more traffic including big construction lorries, onto the Guild Wheel along the narrow D’Urton Lane, which has not got a footpath to protect pedestrians.

“The plans omitted to mention the dangerous junction already built on (old)Lightfoot Lane. This bad design alarmingly gives right of way to the motor vehicles, including construction lorries, to cut across this formerly quiet country Lane and GW route. Worse still this Lane is also a designate Sustran’s ‘Safe Route to Schools.’

“It was until now, deemed safe enough for children to cycle and walk unaccompanied to two local schools. It begs the question would those who sanctioned this junction be prepared to let their own children or grandchildren walk or cycle to school, along this Lane?

“The plans surprisingly fails to mention that there is not one hazardous junction being planned but up to eight which together will destroy the main safety and environmental qualities of the Wheel, bringing cars and lorries onto these quiet lanes.

“This is contrary to Preston City Council’s planning committee who not long ago threw out the planned junctions as unsafe, won by a big majority of Councilors from all Party’s.

“The Guild Wheel designers from the LCC, PCC staff, plus the Guild Wheel Users Group, including its Chairperson Peter Ward took years and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to make the Wheel’s road crossings safe.

“It seems county councilors of Preston are ignoring the 10,000 petitioners and the many passionate letters printed in the local media. We recommend they read the comments registered on the Save Our Guild Wheel campaign in order to understand how strong public opinion is and what is expected of the county council and planners.”

The campaigners have called for the county council to meet with them to discuss the route and six key areas they feel the Wheel route is being threatened in the north east and north west of the city.

Lancashire County Council were approached to see if they wished to comment on the campaign group’s response, but they said they felt their plans announced last week had addressed the Guild Wheel group’s concerns.

Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor John Fillis said last week: “There will be extra traffic on some quiet roads in the short term while new housing and supporting infrastructure such as highway and utility upgrades is being constructed. But in the longer term when work is finished we’re planning for these roads to become as quiet as they were before.”

What do you think of the Guild Wheel route? Have you signed the petition? Let us know in the comments below

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