Work to start on traffic jam-buster

Artist's impression of housing and industrial units near Wigan Flashes on the new Westwood Park and A49 link road development

Artist's impression of housing and industrial units near Wigan Flashes on the new Westwood Park and A49 link road development

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THE first phase of a £21.5m scheme aiming to relieve congestion on one of Wigan borough’s main transport routes is set to start next month.

The A49 Link Road from Goose Green to Westwood Park will ease traffic on Poolstock and open up former industrial land which will be transformed bringing new jobs and homes as part of Wigan Council’s new deal for business.

The initial programme will see work being carried out to clear the site which will include the removal of trees where the new route will take traffic from the A49 at Warrington Road to Westwood Park.

Planning permission has already been granted for the road following a public consultation.

Wigan Council has also worked with Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Greater Manchester Ecology Unit to minimise the impact on the environment along the route.

The site clearance work will start in November to avoid the start of the bird nesting season in January and will run over a five to six week period in advance of work to construct the road which will start in 2015.

The works are part of a wider scheme which will create new homes, employment opportunities and enhanced access to Wigan Flashes.

And the project will see a landmark visitor centre created for the green space.

Once the road is complete new planting and landscaping complementing the existing environment will be done as part of the project to create a green gateway to the town.

Steve Normington, director of economy and skills, said: “Whilst there is still work to do to finalise the project this is the first step on the way to transforming the road network around the Goose Green and Westwood Park area. It will help ease congestion on Poolstock and unlock land around Westwood Park for development.

“Taking down trees is a sensitive topic for many but their removal will be done in a sympathetic manner to the surrounding landscape and we ask residents to bear with us while the work is running. We also want to reassure them that once work is complete there will be extensive landscaping along the new route.”