Work in Worsley Mesnes to create the borough’s first active neighbourhood has started on site.
Wigan Council has developed the scheme with residents and businesses following two rounds of public consultation in 2021.
Active neighbourhoods are designed to prioritise pedestrians.
The final plan for the area includes new crossings and traffic calming measures, tree planting, new signage and off-road path widening and lighting.
“Active or ‘low traffic’ neighbourhoods in their simplest form are about creating safe, attractive spaces for people to socialise or spend time in and for children to play,” says Councillor Paul Prescott.
“They also aim to reduce congestion caused by motorists and through-traffic, which has a positive impact on air quality and improves road safety.
“Prioritising walking and cycling in this way also makes it the easier option for residents to get around, which improves overall health and wellbeing.”
Active neighbourhoods are achieved typically by using planters or bollards on some streets to make them easier to get around on foot, by wheelchair, with prams or by bike.
They are being rolled out across Greater Manchester.
The works will be delivered in a phased approach to minimise disruption to residents and businesses.
Throughout this period, the measures will be monitored to see the impact they’re having on the area.
Work is expected to be complete by summer 2022.
“We listened to what residents told us during the consultation and have amended the plans in light of their comments,” said Councillor Prescott.
“What came through strongly was that safety for primary school children was a key priority, and the plans reflect that.
“By also removing ‘rat-running’ through traffic on some routes in Worsley Mesnes, we can reduce any negative impact of this on the local neighbourhood and put residents back at the centre of their communities.”
The scheme will cost £600,000 and is funded by the Department for Transport’s active travel 2 allocation.
Active neighbourhoods are also planned for Golborne and Leigh.
The active neighbourhood will complement the wider regeneration of Worsley Mesnes, which is being delivered by Keepmoat Homes and includes new housing and business opportunities.