Mayor's Challenge Fund (MCF)

The MCF aims to kick start the delivery of the GM Cycling and Walking Commissioner’s Made to Move report, and continue Greater Manchester’s journey to becoming a city region where walking and cycling are the natural choices for shorter journeys, as set out in Greater Manchester's Transport Strategy 2040. Also supporting this is The Bee Network infrastructure proposal, which aims to create the UK’s largest cycling and walking network.

There is £160 million available up to 2022 and MCF is split into two funding pots for:

  • Active centres and corridors
  • Active neighbourhoods.

Wigan Council has already secured over £16 million funding from the MCF to deliver a number of schemes across the borough.

Schemes proposed for the borough

Standish Mineral Line extension

The project will extend the Standish Mineral Line to provide the missing connection to the works currently completed by Highways England at Junction 27 off the M6, and will include cycling and walking routes, and crossing points.

The scheme provides additional and improved sections of off and on road facilities, creating high quality multi-user routes (walking, cycling, equestrian and wheelchair) to extend the Standish Mineral Line. It will provide a safe route for journeys into the local shopping centre in Standish, as well as to schools, health services and leisure venues.

The improvements will resurface existing informal routes, public rights of way, and bridleways, providing new connections and crossing points, and links to new housing developments.

Works on site will commence in autumn 2019 and be completed by spring 2020.

Bridgewater canal towpath

The scheme will improve the canal towpath in Astley to create a new multi-user surface, as well as improving drainage, access points and signage along the canal. The works will start at Higher Green Lane and continue to the Salford border.

This Astley section of Bridgewater Way has not been upgraded and is now becoming impassable for much of the year. The path suffers severe drainage problems and can be very muddy even in the summer.

The upgrade of this ‘missing link’ will result in a 20-mile continuous sustainable transport route from Wigan to Salford and beyond.

Works are currently underway, and due to be completed in early summer 2019.

Toucan crossings for Wigan Central

The scheme will provide safe road crossing facilities including five Toucan Crossing upgrades on existing key junctions along Gidlow Lane, Springfield Road, Kenyon Road/Walkden Ave, Park Road, and Frog Lane. In addition, there will be implied crossing points to improve the safety at side-road junctions.

This is a densely populated area of Wigan, with little or no provision for crossing busy roads, and access to the town centre from this area is difficult if you are walking or cycling.

The route will provide safe crossing facilities to Wigan Town Centre with access to all the services located there, including bus and train stations, shops, and health and leisure facilities. This will give local residents the option to walk or cycle safely into town rather than driving.

It is anticipated that work on site will commence in late 2019 and be completed by summer in the following year.

Leigh/Atherton/Tyldesley Bee Network

This scheme will provide improved routes and crossings throughout Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley to create a new and improved cycling and walking network. Our proposals will improve easy and safe access to key destinations across the Leigh area, helping to cut congestion, improve air quality, and increase cycling and walking rates across the area.

Key features and elements of the scheme include:

  • Improved on and off-road cycling and walking routes for easier and safer access into Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton.
  • New and improved links to key destinations including schools, health services, transport hubs and leisure areas.
  • Provision of dedicated cycling and walking lanes, and safe crossing points, along main roads and near schools.
  • Sustainable access to jobs and town centres to support businesses and services located there.

It is anticipated that work on site will commence in 2020 and be completed by March 2022.

Do you have feedback?

Although we have secured funding for a number of schemes based on our initial plans, we are still only at the development stage and we are seeking feedback on our ideas to develop these into fully detailed schemes. Please contact Major Projects if you have any feedback.


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