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Residents urged: Help get Wigan borough on the move
Friday 15th July, 2011

Residents urged: Help get Wigan borough on the move
Flashback to the commuter challenge of 2009 - council transport engineers Peter Wickett (bike), James Noakes (train), Emma Barton (bus), Tony Hemmingway (car) and Mike Orrell (off road bike) compare journey times

Wigan Council launches a major public consultation exercise on Monday (18th July) that will help shape the future of transport for the whole borough.

Over the coming months the council will be asking individuals, local communities and businesses how they get around, how they’d like to get around in the future, what they feel about the borough’s public transport provision and what the council’s priorities should be for the next 20 years.

Wigan Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Champion for the Economy, Cllr David Molyneux, says:

“Transport connects us to places where we work, socialise, shop, study and access services. An effective transport network can unlock the potential of Wigan borough and its people.

“While there have been many improvements to our transport infrastructure in recent years, we are still a long way from where we need to be. Everybody who travels in and out of this borough knows that there is huge room for improvement.

“What people tell us will help paint an overall picture of what local communities need and want – and enable us to influence decisions and lobby for the improvements on their behalf.

“We want to make it easier and safer for people to get around the borough. If we do nothing, traffic and congestion will continue to grow, there’ll be greater delays, higher costs and more damage to our health and environment.”

The consultation gets underway at Monday morning rush hour, with the ‘On the Move Commuter Challenge’. Four volunteers will travel into town from nearby Highfield by bus, bicycle, car and train. Each will aim to reach Wigan town hall in as quickly, safely and healthily a manner as possible. A fifth volunteer will walk the half hour route to emphasise that travel costs, health and environmental impact must also be part of the commuting equation.

Officers staged a commuter challenge from Bryn two years ago – with the cyclist coming in just 30 seconds behind the car. An off-road cyclist was third that time and the team are eager to see how the traffic and transport links from Highfield will fare when put to the test on Monday.

Cllr Molyneux adds:

“We all know and agree that Wigan Borough needs a transport network that can meet the challenges of a growing economy and the increasing demand for travel – but it must be one that does not compromise our health and environment. With the help of local people we can move quickly to understand those challenges and deliver solutions.”

Have your say at www.wigan.gov.uk/onthemove, where you can download the documents and complete a questionnaire online. Transport officers are planning several local roadshows and consultation events where people can come along and talk to the team to talk about the issues:

- Tuesday 2nd August, from 1pm in Golborne Library
- Thursday 4th August, from 1pm in Tyldesley Library
- Tuesday 16th August, from 10am in the Grand Arcade, Wigan town centre
- Wednesday 17th August, from 1pm in Leigh Library
- Tuesday 23rd August, from 1pm in Shevington Library

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