WIGAN Council is to take action after an unplanned road closure caused heavy delays for motorists in rush hour traffic yesterday morning.
Drivers were caught in long queues when one lane was closed in Warrington Road, Marus Bridge, at the roundabout with Highfield Grange Avenue, towards Wigan town centre.
Wireless telecoms company Cellular Systems Ltd had started work to install a 3G telephone mast system.
But the Metro’s highways department has revealed it was not informed of the lane closure during peak-time traffic and has ordered the Widnes-based firm to change its work plans.
Kevin Hargreaves, traffic manager at Wigan Council, said: “We were informed by Cellular Systems Ltd of their plans to build foundations for a 3G telephone mast on Warrington Road, at Marus Bridge.
“But the notice did not include any details of restrictions on the carriageway or the pathway during peak hours.
“They have not complied with the conditions of the notice and an officer has been sent out to ensure the roadworks no longer cause any restrictions for motorists.
“This is a primary route and roadworks can be a particular problem if we are not informed about it. Cellular Systems Ltd do not have a statutory right to complete the work.”
Motorists were forced to wait in heavy tailbacks along Warrington Road up to the M6 slip road, at junction 25, while drivers heading out of Bryn were also caught up in the delays.
Traffic was still tailing back at the scene throughout the morning.
No-one from Cellular Systems Ltd was available to comment at the time of going to print.
Wigan Council is now planning to introduce a permit system for companies carrying out roadworks by the end of the year.
This will include a fixed penalty for any firms who break the conditions of their planned roadworks.
Meanwhile, temporary traffic signals will be in operation at the Railway Bridge, in Park Road, Wigan, until Friday during off peak times. Network Rail is carrying out emergency maintenance work.
Work will being at Astley Street and Prince’s Avenue, in Astley, on Sunday, February 27. The road is likely to face closures for one week.