A local cycling group is urging people to dust off their helmets and take to the roads this Bike Week.
Breeze, a local group for women over 18 has welcomed Wigan Council’s newly installed cycling hoops and signs along Ormskirk Road in Pemberton and is encouraging more people to take up the sport to keep fit.
Although Ormskirk Road has seen an improvement in cycling uptake, at a consultation event last year cyclist and walkers said the footway and cycleway could be improved further by raising more awareness.
In response, the town hall installed extra signage and vinyl markings to deter motorists from taking up space and to encourage more people to think of alternative modes of transport.
Sandra Green, who is a member of Breeze said: “One of the main barriers for women getting into cycling is that most will want a traffic free experience and often busy roads will put people off from cycling and getting active.
“The more cycle friendly schemes that are available will definitely increase the numbers out and about on their bikes.”
The signs come amidst the joint cycling scheme project between Wigan Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, which sees a Dutch-inspired cycle way being installed along Robin Park Road, Wallgate and Saddle Junction.
Councillor Ron Conway, cycling champion at Wigan Council said: “Cycling is great way to keep fit and active. You see so many places whilst out on the bike and it can be a really enjoyable day out, especially in the summer months.
“Although the borough benefits from so much green space, I urge people to cycle in our urban areas too, such as Ormskirk Road. Not only will this help to alleviate traffic, but cycling improves air quality and can boost our mental wellbeing.”
Soon, residents in the Wigan area will have the opportunity to safely cycle through Robin Park Road as the current works are due to come to an end by 22nd June.
Saddle Junction and Wallgate works will begin this month with the hope to be completed by the end of the year.
Sandra continued: “The extra cycle signs on Ormrkirk Road will be a good way of reminding motorists that cyclists are about and that they should perhaps show extra caution when driving.
“Although the central cycle scheme across Saddle junction hasn’t been completed yet, I look forward to the opportunity to travel in and out of the town centre by bike and think it’s a great scheme for all cyclists.”
Breeze cycle over the weekend with traffic rides taking place on a Saturday and road rides on a Sunday. The group usually follow Wigan Borough cycle routes along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal but do head further afield to locations including Parbold, Burscough, Salford and Southport.
For more information about Breeze, search ‘Breeze’ on Facebook or visit www.letsride.co.uk.