Broadgate CYCLOPS junction-3

Get involved with cycling at free event to mark the official opening of Preston's new CYCLOPS junction

Members of the public are invited to a free community event in Preston on Sunday 9th July to raise awareness of and officially open a new type of junction designed to make travel easier and safer for people walking, wheeling and cycling.

Situated in the Broadgate area of Preston where Fishergate Hill and Strand Road meet, the new CYCLOPS (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) junction is the first of its kind in Lancashire and is part of the county council's commitment to supporting healthier active travel choices and tackling climate change by encouraging those who can, to make fewer car journeys.

An opening event is being held at the new Broadgate CYCLOPS junction on Sunday 9th July between 11:30am and 3pm for people to come and see the scheme and get involved with cycling.

There will be bicycles available to try out and a mechanic on hand if your bike needs a minor repair. You can even ride the 'smoothie bike', using pedal power to blend yourself a free well-earned drink! 

Local businesses taking part in the event include Leisure Lakes, Pennine Events and Preston Pedals.

People will also be on-hand to help to register on the 'Love to Ride' app, which helps you to track your bike miles, see your carbon savings, set goals, and find help and support to ride more often. Once registered, there are some fabulous prizes to be won just for logging your bike rides.

The award-winning CYCLOPS concept was first developed by Transport for Greater Manchester and is now appearing in more and more towns and cities across the UK.

These junctions differ from traditional designs by separating people walking or wheeling and those who are cycling from each other as well as from motor vehicles to reduce the possibility of collisions and improve safety for everyone.

A key feature of a CYCLOPS junction is an orbital cycle track that circles the junction, providing an alternative off-road route to protect cyclists from general traffic while allowing everyone to use the junction safely.

People walking/wheeling are provided with more space at the junction and have dedicated crossings, which are separated from cycle crossing points, unlike more traditional crossings.

'Mini' zebra crossings are also used on the footway to provide pedestrians with priority when crossing the cycle track, helping to protect vulnerable users.

Broadgate CYCLOPS junction-4

The new junction is the first of its kind in Lancashire

Located on a key transport corridor linking Preston and South Ribble, connecting the urban areas of Broadgate and Penwortham, the junction provides access to the city centre, including Preston railway station and Preston bus station.

The CYCLOPS junction also serves the traffic-free Guild Wheel circular route, which benefits from the inclusion of two-way cycle crossings in two locations, providing direct links across the Guild Wheel cycle route and to the Penwortham to Preston Cycleway.

County Councillor Scott Smith, lead member for highways and active travel for Lancashire County Council, said: "The award-winning CYCLOPS concept, first piloted in Greater Manchester and adapted now for Lancashire, is now appearing in more and more towns and cities across the UK.

"It's great to see Lancashire's first CYCLOPS junction up and running and, while it may take a little getting used to, I am confident all road users will feel its benefits.

"I'd like to encourage local residents to come out, have a look at the new junction and perhaps even have a go at our event on Sunday 9 July.

"Encouraging more people to ditch the car and take up more active forms of travel, particularly when travelling in and around Preston city centre, is a big goal of ours.

"Our new CYCLOPS junction will help people do that, and will make this busy junction easier and safer for all."

For more information about the Broadgate and Fishergate Hill CYCLOPS junction, visit Penwortham to Preston Cycleway - Lancashire County Council

*All images courtesy of Keith Martin