New road delights weary motorists

Lord Smith officially opens Southgate, the Saddle relief road from Pottery Road to Saddle Junction, Wigan
Lord Smith officially opens Southgate, the Saddle relief road from Pottery Road to Saddle Junction, Wigan

A MULTI-million pound congestion-buster road improvement scheme has transformed Wigan town centre traffic.

That’s the claim of delighted council officials who are hugely pleased with the effect of the new roadway.

It’s a month since the completed Saddle relief project was officially opened. Research and monitoring by the council during the first month suggests the work has cut journey times and eased congestion.

Feedback from the public and local businesses has also been positive.

The £12m scheme included the construction of the first major road to be built in Wigan borough for decades and work to relieve congestion around Saddle Junction.

The routes out of and into Wigan town centre have been rebuilt with traffic redirected.

Deputy Leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux, said the work had alleviated issues that have caused persistent problems for motorists for years.

He said: “After a month, it’s clear the work around the Saddle relief project has made a real difference to the journeys of thousands of drivers coming into and leaving Wigan. Most of our roads were built over a hundred years ago and were never designed to cope with the demands we now have in the 21st century.

“Over the years we’ve done what we can to make improvements – as far as budgets will allow. This has been an ambitious project, designed to transform traffic conditions around Wigan town centre for the better. And I think it has done just that. It is early days but so far the scheme seems to be working. This should improve the quality of life for Wigan’s commuters and make the town centre a more attractive destination for investment.”