Traffic plans drawn up

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PLANS have been unveiled for a new bypass aimed at tackling Wigan’s most traffic-snarled community.

Transport chiefs have outlined the new link road which would connect Liverpool Road and Wigan Road in order to relieve pressure on the Hindley town centre crossroads.

It has been costed at £3.5m and outlined in a new Strategic Transport Route Assessment Plan (STRAP) drawn up by Wigan Council.

The development would also alleviate some congestion from the A577, Darlington Street East – which according to assessments is Wigan borough’s slowest route.

Emma Barton, transport strategy manager said: “This link road is a long-term aspiration at the moment.

“At some point when looking at the whole corridor, when development in North Leigh has been put in, and links with development South of Hindley have been done, we then have to think about how we can extend that through to take the pressure off the A577.”

Hindley has long been dogged by snarl-ups and various measures taken over the years to reduce them has had a measure of success.

The STRAP also reveals a rogue’s gallery of the other borough routes which take motorists the longest to get through.

In some cases, measures are already being taken to tackle them.

The second slowest road is the A49 at Queen Street and Caroline Street, but work has begun on the new Saddle Relief Road, which experts say should help this particular problem. Wigan Council has also pledged to increase enforcement of traffic regulation orders in this area.

According to the assessment plan, the third busiest route is the A573 School Lane and Warrington Road towards Bickershaw.

Extending the right-turnpocket from Warrington Road to Bickershaw and liaising with Metrofresh to see how crossing patrols are carried out in a bid to minimise the number of times traffic is halted are among ideas for congestion relief there.

Council engineers also plan to open up Sovereign Road, opposite Lidl supermarket.

This will allow traffic coming into town from Lower Ince to bypass the busy crossroads at a new priority give-way junction.

Mark Tilley, head of highways, said: “The existing junction is working well above capacity, as I am sure many drivers will know too well.

“The council has listened to local concerns here, we have support from local ward members and we want to deliver an effective solution.

“We have the funds and the opportunity now to address this and make a real difference for all road users in the area.”

As part of safety considerations for the scheme, new dropped kerbs and tactile paving for disabled access will be installed at the junction and side roads.

New trees will be planted around the junction, and the Pepper Mill car park will be upgraded.

Construction is likely to start in March and last for six to eight weeks.

The fourth slowest route is Poolstock Lane while the A58 Liverpool Road and Market Street in Hindley is the fifth most sluggish.

Engineers are reviewing traffic signals along Poolstock Lane and will regulate parking near Tesco and St Paul’s Avenue, according to STRAP.

The increasing congestion along Liverpool Road and Market Street could be alleviated when planned interventions such as a new link road to Miller’s Lane and increased waiting and loading enforcement during peak hours on Market Street.