The route of the Preston Guild Wheel may need to change as major housing developments are built in the North West of the city.Advertisement
Preston City Council’s leader, Peter Rankin, has outlined his support for the 21-mile cycle route but hinted ‘short-term adverse impacts’ on the Wheel may be necessary.
He said: “We have to accept there needs to be housing built in these areas but I want people to be assured the Guild Wheel is safe.
“The route is fantastic and I think what’s going to happen with the inner and outer loops means we’ll have a better cycle route at the end of this.
“There will be a period of disruption where there is building work going on – but we need to ensure the route is kept safe for all users. That’s why this motion has been tab;ed.”
In a motion to the city council about the award-winning cycle route, finished in time for the 2012 Guild, Cllr Rankin warns of the conflict approaching as the city expands into the area where part of the cycle route passes.
He writes there is an ‘impossibility of creating new access roads, as requested by the Guild Wheel Users Group, where developments have had planning applications approved’.
Related: What TripAdvisor users are saying about the Guild Wheel
Cllr Rankin goes on to say he wants city council officers to work with Lancashire County Council to ‘preserve and enhance, where possible, the principal features of the Guild Wheel including off-road, on segregated cycle paths and in shared space with other traffic’.
It also hints the route of the Guild Wheel may change – stating ‘alternative routes for the Guild Wheel are investigated and delivered, wherever possible, along specific sections of the current route in advance of or alongside major development proposals where the integrity of the Guild Wheel and the safety of its users cannot be maintained.’
Related: See a map showing the Guild Wheel route
He also wants to create a ‘cycling strategy’ for Preston.
Both councils have faced criticism from cyclists about the impact of large-scale housing developments near the Guild Wheel – particularly in the D’urton Lane area ahead of the construction of the Broughton Bypass.
112 new homes on land near the D’urton Lane section of the Wheel were approved in December despite the protests of cyclists.
Related: People power clears the Guild Wheel route after flooding
Lancashire County Council has also pledged to protest the cycle route, but their announcement in November was met with dismay by the Save The Guild Wheel campaign.
Cllr Rankin’s motion about Guild Wheel is due to be discussed at a full council meeting on Thursday 21 April at the Town Hall from 2pm. You can read the full motion on the city council website.
Do you use the Guild Wheel? What do you think about the motion and Cllr Rankin’s comments? Let us know your views on the comments below