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£5.8m granted for 92km of strategic cycle routes in East Lancashire

It is hoped the money will help provide alternatives to car travel for local people, as well as boosting tourism

Funding worth £5.8m has been confirmed to complete a 92km strategic cycle network in East Lancashire that will link four major towns in the area.

The money will see the Weavers Wheel project realised, linking Blackburn with areas around the town's outskirts including Feniscowles, Great Harwood, Mellor Brook, Oswaldtwistle and Salesbury, like the spokes on a wheel. The Valley of Stone greenway linking Whitworth to Rawtenstall, and the Accrington to Ramsbottom section of National Cycle Network route 6 will be completed, along with the Huncoat Greenway in Hyndburn.

The successful bid from the government's Local Growth Fund by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, with £3m from Lancashire County Council, is aimed at helping people access leisure and employment opportunities by bike as well as boosting tourism while, alongside public transport investment, offering alternatives to car travel.

Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: "Improving sustainable transport options is vital to widen access to economic opportunities and this investment will have a real impact by making cycling attractive and accessible to many more people in East Lancashire.

"These schemes complement the multi million pound investments which the LEP is already making to deliver the transport infrastructure we need to support our economy and attract further investment into the county."

Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Councillor executive member for regeneration, said: "This is excellent news not only for our borough but for the whole of East Lancashire. Developing the local cycle network will complement the multi-million pound investment in our bus and rail networks enabling our residents and visitors more attractive, greener and cheaper travel choices to access employment, education and leisure opportunities.

"By knitting together existing and planned cycle ways across the borough and indeed the rest of East Lancashire we will deliver a comprehensive network of cycle routes which offers great value for money. Working in partnership with local cycle clubs, British Cycling and local businesses we will help raise the profile of cycling in and around our fantastic area.”

Around £4m will be spent around Rossendale. Rossendale council leader Alyson Barnes told the Rossendale Free Press: "The scheme will be a big boost to this borough. It will be good for commuters who cycle to work, it will be good for tourism as it will show off some of most beautiful areas we have in Rossendale and it will encourage people to get healthier as using these routes will be much, much easier.".

"It will boost public health and will boost the economy. I am very excited to see how this scheme develops."

Adrian Watts, from the Rossendale Road Club, told the paper: "We’re very happy about it, I also work as a cycle trainer and these new cycle ways are going to be ideal for encouraging people to get on their bikes, people are a bit wary of riding on the roads around Rossendale."

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severs1966 | 8 years ago

"strategic cycle routes"

This is a code-phrase that means "signs and paint"

A route is not infrastructure.

A signpost, a map, and a strategy is not a safety feature.

don simon fbpe | 8 years ago

Keep it coming because the standard of driving around here is just about the worst I've ever seen.
Love Bolton
Hate Cyclists.

Zermattjohn | 8 years ago

Sounds great...nearly £6m to be spent on cycle infrastructure....!!!!!! Then you see a sign near me saying that £1.4m is being spent on a single junction "upgrade" to reduce "congestion" (ie, additional 3m wide lanes for cars, no cycle infra in design). £96m is being spent on the M6 J9-13, to make it a "smart motorway" (ie, hard shoulder running & variable speed limits).

Just helps reinforce the belief that the motor vehicle is the important one on the roads, despite it being the most inefficient form of transport.

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