Businesses and motorists asked for their patience over Saddle Junction

Frustrated motorists are set to suffer more traffic misery as major road networks are upgraded to accommodate cyclists.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 11:19 am
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 1:02 pm
Ongoing roadworks at the Saddle Junction

In recent weeks drivers using Saddle Junction have been hit with massive delays as the council works to create improved facilities for people biking into the town centre and past Robin Park.

Earlier this week, more mayhem was forecast following the announcement of the upcoming closure of the left turn from Pemberton towards Robin Park Road, meaning that motorists would be forced to go around Saddle Junction to access the arterial route.

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The Wigan Post has since learnt that the tighter road-restrictions, which were going to be temporarily introduced this week, will not begin for at least another week.

Incensed Wiganers have been vocal about the problems that the roadworks are causing in an already congested part of the borough.

Stagecoach Buses tweeted earlier this week informing passengers that services 600, 631 and 632 into town would be diverted due to “expected delays”.

The council has been inundated with complaints from people calling the scheme “nonsense” and a “never-ending disaster”.

Local businesses have also received a devastating blow as a result of the roadworks, with one admitting that footfall has fallen by a third since this time last year.

“We have a counter that tracks the number of people coming in,” said one staff member, who asked not to be named. “This year the footfall has dropped by 35 per cent.

“It’s not ideal, they are making less space for cars and more for cyclists.

“Someone from the council came in to see us. I showed him the numbers and he was in absolute shock.

“We were told how there would be little effect on the business.

“The rest of the business across the region has actually gone up and ours has gone down.”

A council spokesperson said: “We have been giving lots of support to local businesses affected by the works and regularly updating them about progress.

“We thank them for their patience while work is ongoing and understand that this is disrupting for them.

“There are business as usual signs up at site and our business engagement team have visited them to see if there is anything further we can do to support them during this time.

“We would encourage any business with concerns to get in touch.”