Drivers warned over a year of roadworks

Ormskirk Road, Pemberton

Ormskirk Road, Pemberton

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MOTORISTS are facing a traffic nightmare lasting an agonising 12 MONTHS on some of Wigan’s busiest roads.

A schedule of gas pipe replacement work released today by National Grid will spell long queues and detours for countless motorists over the next year.

As revealed last week Rectory Lane at Standish is to be closed for 12 weeks in the summer because it is impossible to put new pipes down the road while any traffic is passing.

The Owls at Standish restaurant on the route has already expressed serious concerns about the effects on passing trade for its business which will only be accessible from one end or the other for the best part of three months in peak season.

This is after the business was one of those hit by the near closure of Standish for months in 2009 when water pipes were being laid.

Other gas main replacement works around the borough are not expected to close roads completely but temporary lights are expected to be in evidence.

Looking months ahead sections of Atherton Road, Hindley, and both Gathurst Road, Orrell, and Shevington Lane, Shevington, will be hit by major roadworks although dates have yet to be set.

Those to undergo more immediate excavations are as follows:

n Ormskirk Road, Pemberton (pictured below). Work will start on April 4 and will take until around July 8 to complete. During this period, it will be necessary for us to use temporary traffic lights.

n Orrell Road, Orrell. Further up the same main route as above, engineers will be working between May 23 and July 4 and temporary traffic lights will used for the duration.

n City Road, Pemberton and Kitt Green. Work will be carried out between May 3 and July 8 and temporary traffic lights will be used.

n Montrose Avenue, Norley, and Leopold Street, Pemberton will also have works carried out but without the need for traffic lights.

The work is all part of a £92m improvement project to replace all of the remaining metal gas pipes across the North West with plastic ones which will last for at least 80 years.

More than 25 miles-worth of piping is being upgraded in Wigan borough alone at a cost of £8.6m.

Andrew McKelvey, Head of Gas Alliances, said: “National Grid’s job is to keep gas and electricity flowing around the country so that when ever we need it – it’s there.

“We will cause some short-term disruption but ultimately, the work we are doing will make sure that our gas supply continues to serve us safely, reliably and efficiently for decades to come.”