New signs will help direct cyclists and walkers away from busy traffic

A borough councillor who champions cycling has welcomed new signs in Blackburn to help riders and walkers avoid busy traffic.

The exciting new cycling and walking route called the “Weavers Wheel” is being brought to life with directional signs now installed at several key locations where work has been completed.

The Weavers Wheel is based on the Preston Guild Wheel which attracts thousands of cyclists and walkers each year.

It is  a 26km circular route around the town of Blackburn which is being developed to link to the town centre and neighbouring towns.

The concept is part of a multi-million pound East Lancashire wide project supported by the Lancashire LEP which aims to transform cycling opportunities across the region.

The signage has been installed so far on:

 

  • Whalley Old Road;
  • Blackburn Old Road;
  • Whinney Lane;
  • Mellor Lane;
  • Whitebirk Drive;
  • Brownhill Drive

 

Cllr Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The Weavers Wheel is an exciting project that is progressing well.  

“It will really help put the borough on the map as a place to visit and spend leisure time but also enable people to commute to work, college or training more sustainably.

“Its development is an important part of the regions cycle network as it will help to transform the perception of cycling and indeed walking.

“It is hoped the wheel, like the Preston Guild Wheel has done, will inspire residents and visitors of all ages to take more trips by bike or by foot and in turn reduce the number of journeys taken by car.”

The inspiration behind plans for the development of the Weavers Wheel was from local residents and founders of the Young Weavers group Kevin and his wife Vicky Riddehough.

Working in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Kevin and Vicky, who run the family activity group the Young Weavers, have been instrumental to the detailed design of the scheme

Kevin said:  “The numbers of people cycling in the borough has grown over the last decade thanks to investment by the Council and its partnership with British Cycling and local cycle groups and clubs.

 “The development of the Weavers Wheel will therefore cater for this new demand by providing an enjoyable and attractive network of fully signed routes.

The Weavers Wheel will also offer opportunities for safe routes to many local schools and businesses with planned improvements to crossing points and several off road sections.

Project manager James Syson from Blackburn with Darwen Council added: “The Council, via its Connect sustainable transport project, has ensured local awareness and support for this investment through community projects coordinated by local artist Alastair Nicholson.

“These art and horticultural projects will help transform sections of the route to create gateway features local neighbourhoods can be proud of.

“The Weavers Wheel will provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy and also get involved in future community projects designed to maintain the attractiveness of the network ”

The aim is to make it easier for people in East Lancashire to cycle and access opportunities for work, education and training, as well as for health and leisure.

Work on the wheel started last year and is set for completion by 2019.

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