Work has started on 19 cycling schemes across the North West to make it easier for cyclists to cross motorway junctions and use major A roads.
Highways England is carrying out over 200 projects across the country over the next five years after the government set up a £100 million dedicated fund for cycling in its Road Investment Strategy.
More than 40 schemes have now begun and are set to be completed by this spring. Work will continue on other projects between now and 2021.
The schemes will provide new cycling facilities which are safe, separate from traffic and can be used by cyclists of all abilities.
The first phase of the cycling programme will see cycle lanes and crossings created or improved at 7 motorway junctions in the North West, and improvements will also be made on major A roads in the county.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:
“Our investment in cycling infrastructure will make cycling safer and ultimately cut congestion on the roads.
“Highways England is well on the way to delivering £100 million worth of improvements to cycling facilities around major roads over the next five years.
“This important work is part of a transformational programme to make travelling by bike a more attractive option – great news for cyclists and motorists.”
The North West improvements include new cycle lanes on a 2 mile stretch of the A663 between the M60 and the A627(M) near Chadderton, which will link up with existing cycle routes.
New signs are being installed on a 12 mile stretch of the A590 in Cumbria between Brettargh Holt Roundabout and Newby Bridge, on a 5 mile stretch of the A66 between Great Clifton and Papcastle, and on the A595 near Egremont.
Improvements will also be made to the safety barriers and lighting on the bridge which carries the A574 Birchwood Way over the M6 near Warrington, and on the footbridge over the M58 close to junction 4 near Skelmersdale.
Highways England’s Cycling Champion, Richard Leonard, said:
“These improvements will make cycling easier around major A roads and over motorway junctions across England. They will contribute towards a connected, comfortable, attractive and high quality cycling network, suitable and safe for use by people of all ages and abilities.
“We want to provide safe, accessible and integrated cycling facilities that give people a genuine choice about whether to travel in their car to get on a bike instead. If we can encourage more people to use their bikes for local journeys then this should also improve the flow of traffic for drivers travelling longer distances.”
New cycle lanes will be created at motorway junctions at the following locations in the North West:
- M6 junction 29, Blackburn
- M53 junction 4, Bebington
- M57 junction 2, Prescot
- M58 junction 1, Maghull
- M58 junction 4, Skelmersdale
- M60 junction 13, Worlsley
- M62/M57 interchange, Tarbock Islan
The investment in cycling schemes supports the government’s ambition to encourage walking and cycling so that it becomes normal for short journeys or as part of a longer journey.
More details on Highways England’s Cycling Strategy are available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-strategy.
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