BOLTON West MP Chris Green has reinforced call for proper cycleways and footpaths to be included in the new Horwich Loco Works housing development.

He made his call for better provision during a House of Commons debate on 'Active Transport'.

The Tory backbencher, a keen cyclist, supported concerns expressed by Horwich Heritage in its objection to Morris Homes’ plans to build 402 homes as part of the second phase of the Loco Works development.

Mr Green believes The Rivington Chase masterplan for the area gives insufficient information about two proposed two off-road pedestrian and cycle routes .

He told junior transport minister Michael Ellis more and better, safer cycle lanes were needed.

Mr Green said: "There are opportunities in new developments.

"The largest housing development in Greater Manchester, the Horwich loco works, of 1,700 houses, almost connects Horwich town centre with Horwich Parkway railway station.

" That should have been a wonderful opportunity to connect the town centre to its local railway station with a superb walking and cycling route.

"There was a master plan for that development, but it included zero information about cycling or walking.

"We hear national government, the Mayor of Greater Manchester and our town or borough council leadership talking about their ambitions for cycling and walking, yet in the plan for the largest single housing development in Greater Manchester there were no details about cycling and walking.

"We want more people to cycle and walk, for the obvious reasons that it is better not just for physical but mental health, and we want people to have active lifestyles and be more part of the community.

"However, those ambitions must link up to the reality on the ground. I am pleased that Bolton Council will, under its new Conservative leadership, form a liaison group with the local community and Horwich loco works to make sure the development has the interests of local people at heart. I will champion the cause of cycling and walking."

Mr Ellis said: "Our ambition is to make cycling and walking the natural choices for short journeys, or as part of longer journeys, by 2040."