What’s the truth about commuting in and out of Wigan?
Transport planners often get the blame for traffic jams, but they, like thousands of other commuters, are locals too and they also need to get to work each day.
So to fully appreciate the ways and means of getting from home to the office, the Wigan Council transport team are getting out their stopwatches for a real commuter challenge. Which method is best – car, bike, train, bus or even Shanks’s Pony? And what do we mean by ‘best’?
Emma Barton, senior engineer, will be bussing it from home in Ashton. Her colleague Peter Wickett will be on his bike on the main roads. Assistant engineer Mike Orrell will cycle using off-road routes along the canal towpath and cycle tracks. James Noakes, sustainability manager, will be travelling by train whilst streetworks co-ordinator Tony Hemmingway draws boos and hisses from colleagues by using his car.
Finally – and possibly last – traffic engineer Jamie Fletcher will jog his way in to work from the official starting point.
“This is a bit of fun, but with a serious point,” says Peter Wickett, senior engineer. “Colleagues are very aware of the daily issues people face on local roads. Working within national guidelines and with local knowledge, we want to make our roads as safe and accessible as possible. This commuter challenge will help to focus our minds further on the issues we all face every day and how we can meet the needs of all road users and ensure safe, sustainable and efficient transport in our borough.”
The officers will set off from Bryn at 8.30am and aim to reach Civic Buildings on New Market Street in Wigan town centre…as soon as they can.
- The event is a prelude to National Bike Week (from 13 June) where council officers and cycling experts will be visiting Leigh, Atherton and Wigan town centres to discuss all aspects of biking and cycle maintenance and safety. See bike week website (external link) for details and a link to local events.