image of a muddydisused mineral line
work starting to upgrading the 'Line' at Standish

The highly anticipated Standish Line project will be under way next week, with works hoped to be completed by the end of summer. The planned works by Wigan Council as part of The Deal will see ‘The Line’ undergo a full upgrade from a muddy track to a surfaced and lit bridleway. ‘The Line’ is a former railway track and heritage feature for Standish, providing a key route into the village and to Standish High School, which isn’t currently used to its full potential.

Dowhigh Ltd has been chosen to undertake the works, which will allow the path to be accessible all year round for local pupils, dog-walkers, shoppers, cyclists and pedestrians and will provide an alternative way for people to travel into Standish village centre.

Cllr David Molyneux, deputy leader at the council, said: “This is the long-awaited good news we have been hoping for. We know how much residents in Standish want The Line project to happen and we’ve been working extremely hard to find a suitable contractor to get the project moving.  “The upgrade will provide a quick, walking and cycling route into Standish village centre which should take traffic off the local roads by encouraging more people to leave the car at home. “Along with supporting people to lead healthier lifestyles, by giving them the option to walk or cycle, it will also reduce the levels of noise and pollution through a reduction in cars.”

With a history of coal transportation, The Line is a key heritage point for Standish and was raised by the local community at a have your say session as part of The Deal in 2016.

The works will be planned to maintain the rural characteristics of the route and to be sensitive to wildlife in the area. The funding to improve the former railway track will come from section 106 contributions from developers who are building new homes in Standish. The new surfaced and lit route will run from School Lane through to Brookfield Road for a more direct and safer off-road connection to Shevington Moor and nearby residential areas.

A spokesman for Standish Voice said: “It is very good news that a date is set for the works to get underway, meaning that this upgrade can become a reality. “With new homes being constructed near The Line, we hope it will go some way to giving new residents other options in accessing the centre of Standish without using their cars as there are increasing problems of congestion and a lack of parking.”

For updates on work to the project and more information about cycling in Wigan Borough visit