'Demolish pub in Wigan for road safety'

A community activist is calling on Wigan Council to buy and demolish a pub up for sale to improve road safety at a dangerous junction.
The Kings Arms in AshtonThe Kings Arms in Ashton
The Kings Arms in Ashton

Michael Moulding, who is standing as an independent in the current local elections, says a bit of outside-the-box thinking could prevent deaths or serious injuries on Warrington Road in Ashton

He has suggested the local authority buy the Kings Arms pub, which has been put on the market by Admiral Taverns, flatten it and use the land to widen the junction

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This drastic course of action is being encouraged as installing a pedestrian crossing is impossible due to the narrowness of the pavement outside the watering hole

Having witnessed at least one near-miss at the junction himself, Mr Moulding says this is a one-off opportunity to dip into town hall reserves and find a solution to the problem.

He said: “A few years ago a lollipop lady was seriously injured at that junction and recently I saw a pensioner cross the road there and very nearly get hit by a bus.

“I have raised this issue with the council and local councillors on and off for several years because the junction is extremely dangerous

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“The number of lorries and HGVs now using that route is absolutely horrendous and the pavement is so narrow that occasionally you almost get your feet squashed by a large vehicle coming round the corner.

“I accept that Wigan Council has done what it can to help by recruiting an extra school crossing attendant to help the children going to and from school and that a pedestrian crossing can’t be implemented.

“However, Wigan Council now has the opportunity once and for all to make this junction safer.

“The Kings Arms is up for sale and in my opinion is a failing pub. I think a few hundred thousand pounds from the reserves to buy the freehold, obtain the land and widen the junction would be money well spent.

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“This is the ideal opportunity for the council to do something and resolve this.”

Mr Moulding is standing as an independent candidate in the council election for Ashton ward, against Gillan Gibson (Ukip), Geoffrey Matthews (Lib Dem), Anthony Sykes (Lab) and Marie Winstanley (Cons).