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Preston Guild Wheel: Campaigners launch stinging attack against politicians over cycle route

Posted on - 1st May, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Campaigns, Cottam, Fulwood, News, Politics, Preston Council, Woodplumpton
Peter Ward, one of the founding members of the Guild Wheel, presents the petition and right, a cyclist out on the Wheel Pic: Paul Melling

Peter Ward, one of the founding members of the Guild Wheel, presents the petition and right, a cyclist out on the Wheel Pic: Paul Melling

A former transport chief for Lancashire has launched a stinging attack on what she says is a ‘tearing up’ of the countryside around Preston.

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Nora Ward, who was cabinet member for highways and transport, has written to council leaders about protecting the Guild Wheel.

A petition to ‘Save The Guild Wheel’ has 10,500 signatures and a motion was discussed at a recent council meeting with Preston city council leader Peter Rankin giving his word to safeguard the Wheel’s route.

82-year-old Nora, who lives in Cottam, writes: “When the Guild Wheel opened in 2012 I felt that was it, only final bulb planting and ensuring good maintenance 12 years of hard work and an inheritance for years to come.

“But where are we now four years later. The powers that be at County Hall have stopped all communication with Peter and the Guild Wheel user Group refusing to meet them to discuss what they are allowing planning officers to do by ruining the beautiful lanes and safe routes to school.

“Builders lorries are thundering down these lanes with no thought for residents and or Wheel users.

“For every 100 houses built on these developments there will be an extra 300 cars on the roads and there are still seven or more planned developments near the Wheel.

“I agree we need more houses specially to get more young people on the housing ladder but for many years there has and still is land around the Cottam area already, why not use this before tearing up the countryside.”

Related: Guild Wheel campaigners dismayed at county council plans for the route

A petition was presented to Preston City Council on Thursday 21 April as a full council meeting heard residents concerned.

Nora had these words for councillors currently out on the election trail.

She writes: “Councillors are elected to support the people who elect them, where are they now? Have they asked the opinion of residents or the GWUG, have they actually been seen showing some interest? Not to my knowledge, or have they been told not to get involved. Perhaps these questions should be asked when they knock on your door asking for your vote.”

Related: What TripAdvisors users say about the Guild Wheel

A motion debated at the council meeting was passed, and councillor Rankin speaking before the meeting 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 tabled.”

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

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