Harworth Group plc (“Harworth”) and Transport for Greater Manchester (“TfGM”) have worked in partnership to restore a key leisure and commuting link, known as Engine Lane, to join Tyldesley, Atherton, Leigh and Wigan to Harworth’s Logistics North commercial development and 550-acre Country Park in order to improve accessibility and increase sustainable travel to the site.
Following consultation with Wigan MBC, Harworth and TfGM have worked together to jointly fund the £54,000 resurfacing of Engine Lane, ensuring a safe and smooth passage for employees and local residents.
Prior to resurfacing, which was coordinated by travel planners Mosodi, the popular route had suffered badly from erosion and was heavily potholed, making the bridleway virtually impassable for cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians, especially after periods of heavy rain. Sourcing the funding and completing the project took a number of months with work finishing in December 2018.
With over 5,000 people now employed at Logistics North – many whom commute locally from Salford, Bolton and Wigan – this project is a great example of the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities working with each other and with local businesses to improve the air quality around Greater Manchester and improve the health of its residents.
The official opening of the newly resurfaced bridleway was commemorated last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Linda Thomas, Leader of Bolton Council, Ebrahim Adia, Deputy Leader of Bolton Council and Joanne Marshall, Lead for Green Wigan in addition to Matthew Whiteley of Harworth Group, Chris Taylor of Mosodi and Gareth Hughes of TfGM Sustainable Journeys.
Mosodi, on behalf of Harworth, is now in search of further funding sources to assist in more local access improvements including the resurfacing of Cumbermere Lane from the other side of the site in to Tyldesley.
Chris Boardman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner for Greater Manchester, commented:
“It’s great to see local businesses, Wigan Council and Transport for Greater Manchester coming together to ensure that a popular link for people travelling on foot and by bike is of a high standard. I am sure it will be well used for commuting and leisure, especially as we head into the summer months.”
Cllr Linda Thomas, Leader of Bolton Council, said:
“One of Logistics North’s unique points is the country park, which surrounds it. Residents were promised a park, it’s a haven for wildlife and it is a really important part of the site. I am really pleased that this work has been done as it means more people should be able to benefit from it.”
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, said:
“Logistics North is one of our big success stories. It continues to create jobs and opportunities for people living in Bolton and outside the area. The location of the site is really attractive to businesses and the park surrounding it is important for the community. Now this work has been done there are better links to the development which is good news for everyone.”
Councillor Joanne Marshall, lead member for Greener Wigan at Wigan Council said:
“We are committed to encouraging people to use sustainable modes of transport and supporting individuals to lead healthier lifestyles. The upgrade to Engine Lane gives local people the option to walk or cycle much more easily, which should also help to reduce the levels of noise and pollution through a reduction in cars. This is a great example of partnership working and we hope that residents and commuters are satisfied with the improvements.”