LEIGH TO KENYON JUNCTION
 

A 2 mile footpath once ran from Leigh to north of Kenyon Junction, but because of housing development and road building, only a short section (now upgraded to a cycleway) remains. It runs for half a mile between St Helens Road (A572) and Atherleigh Way (A579), although it is possible to pass under the A579 and cycle into Pennington Country Park, following a short section of the former Pemberton - Bickershaw West Junction line alongside Pemberton Flash.

The A579 changes its name to Lowton St Mary's Bypass (at the site of Pennington East signal box) and this road now occupies the formation between St Helens Road (A572) and the The East Lancashire Road (A580), a distance of one mile, leaving only the last half mile to Kenyon Jn. This final section has reverted to agricultural use and is crossed by several fences. Approaching Kenyon Junction, Wilton Lane overbridge is sealed off with the ubiquitous 7ft security fencing.

Incidentally, the section south of the A572/A579 junction was originally part of the the Kenyon & Leigh Junction Railway, an extension of the Bolton & Leigh Railway, engineered by George Stephenson, which opened for goods traffic in 1828 with one of his locomotives Lancashire Witch hauling the wagons. Atherleigh Way has been built over 2 miles of this line, ending at Wigan Road (A577).

Report by Ralph Rawlinson