Published: 10 April 2012
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British Cycling partner city Preston is rapidly developing a reputation for being one of the most progressive, cycle-friendly cities in the UK. At the heart of the National Cycle Network, with a myriad of traffic-free routes, the brand new Guild Wheel circular greenway and proactive councils, the Lancashire city is a great place to ride a bike.
Cycle route provision
Preston stands at the meeting point of three major National Cycle Network routes, Route 62, which enters the town from Fylde in the west, Route 55 which heads in from the south from Chorley and Route 6 which heads north out of town towards Lancaster.
However it’s Preston’s ‘Guild Wheel’ which is the real news. The Guild wheel is a 21 mile traffic-free greenway encircling the city; essentially a cyclist’s ring road, developed as a lasting legacy of the 2012 Preston Guild. The Guild Wheel takes cyclists around town in a relaxing, scenic fashion, taking in Preston Docks, Avenham and Miller parks, River Ribble, Fishwick Bottoms, Melling Wood and Brockholes Nature Reserve. The Guild Wheel has its own microsite within Lancashire County Council’s website, where you can keep up to date on developments.
Within the Wheel, there are numerous recommended cycle routes, identified on Preston Town Council’s cycling map (LINK). From the south there are off-road cycle routes leading into the city centre from Walton-le-Dale, Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall and Penwortham. From the north west you can use the canal. Under development is the Preston Railway Station/Fishergate Centre Link - a direct path into Preston Railway Station and the Fishergate Shopping Centre from the south of the Ribble. For updates on this route, check out Lancashire County Council’s cycling pages.
Lancashire County Council has a great interactive map detailing the many cycle parking locations in Preston and elsewhere in the county.
Cycling and trains
Preston station has sheltered cycle storage on all platforms and will be linked to the cycle network by the new cycle path mentioned above. If you intend to take your bike on the train, your best bet is to check with the individual train operator for their cycle policy.
Cycle shops include Broadgate Cycles in Kingsfold, Wallis Cycles in Walton-le-Dale, Sutcliffes Cycles in Ribbleton and Fulwood Cycles in the north of city. Halfords have branches at Preston Dock and by the Prison. Online Retailers include Ribble Cycles and Tartybikes. Leisure Lakes have a store at Mere Brow between Preston and Southport.
Don’t leave home without...
Preston City Council’s Cycle Map, which details traffic free paths, recommended routes, cycle crossings and other permissive routes in the town. You can get the map from Preston Council’s website here.
MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMMUTE: Ride Membership offers bike commuters legal protection, insurance and discounts on essential commuting kit. Click here for more details