Crossing is a load of bollards!

Retired Highways inspector John Hardman is bemused by Wigan Council's decision to place a pedestrian island opposite a bus stop as it prevents cars from overtaking the bus when it has stopped on Bolton Road, Ashton

Retired Highways inspector John Hardman is bemused by Wigan Council's decision to place a pedestrian island opposite a bus stop as it prevents cars from overtaking the bus when it has stopped on Bolton Road, Ashton

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EAGLE-EYED former highways inspector John Hardman has spotted a small problem with a new traffic island on a busy Wigan road.

Mr Hardman, 75, who worked for Warrington Council for more than 20 years, says he is frustrated with the pedestrian crossing installed by highways engineers in Bolton Road, Stubshaw Cross, opposite St Luke’s Church and Shawcross Nursing Home.

As the traffic island has been constructed next to a bus stop, when a bus pulls up, cars waiting behind cannot overtake as the bollards are in the way, creating large traffic queues at peak time.

Mr Hardman , of Bamfurlong, said: “I am a retired highways inspector so I know what I am talking about. I used to go round looking for anything wrong, for example, traffic lights out, pot holes etc.

“The engineers have put the bollards right at the bus stop, so when the bus comes, nothing can get past. Every time a bus stops, there is a large traffic queue as cars are stuck behind, unable to drive past and overtake.

“It is all about common sense – why put an obstacle on a bus stop? I have never seen anything like it. It is unbelievable.”

A spokesman for Wigan Council said the pedestrian traffic island was installed following demand from local residents and the location is better for bus drivers.

Mark Tilley, head of highways at Wigan Council, said: “The pedestrian refuge was installed after requests from local residents as well as visitors to the nearby churches and old people’s home.

“It was agreed with the bus operators at a meeting with Transport for Greater Manchester and the work done as part of a strategic route assessment of the area.

“To avoid accidents and improve their service, bus companies prefer bus stops on the road rather than ‘off-line’ in laybys and because the bus stop is predominantly used to drop off people on a 30 minute service, any resulting delays will be minimal. We would certainly not want to encourage dangerous driving such as overtaking on a hill at a junction and the new alignment and markings should help to promote safe driving at the location.”