Wigan slip-road closure causes chaos

Frustrated commuters are blaming the closure of an unofficial motorway slip road for a monumental influx in rush-hour traffic.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 10:51 am
Updated Saturday, 13th October 2018, 3:59 am
Signs at Charnock Richards warned disappointed drivers of the impending closures before the summer holidays

Standish drivers have voiced their disappointment at increased congestion which appears to coincide with the closure of Charnock Richards services slip-road, forcing motorists through the village to access the motorway by junction 27.

The entrance to the northbound M6 now has a barrier. Historically both the access routes had no entry signs, but for many years motorists have used the motorway services as an unofficial junction to get on and off the M6.

One commuter, who wishes to remain anonymous, has reported that his journey from his Standish home to work in Preston has shot from 25 minutes to an hour.

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“In the summer it was plain sailing as you would expect with a lot of commuters off work and no school run,” he said.

“But during that time the access road to the Charnock Richard services was closed.

“I didn’t see any effect during the summer because of this but since the beginning of September there has been chaos around Shevington and Standish at junction 27 where I get on.

“This week alone I’ve set off earlier than usual to try and beat the madness - but my 25 minute drive to Preston has taken me over an hour every day - with the majority of that slog sat waiting to get on the motorway.

“I’m late for work because of this - just how early should someone be expected to set off? I understand that the access road at the services is for authorised vehicles only, but it was vital as an extra junction and easing traffic as a whole.”

Standish councillor, Adam Marsh, has voiced fears that the problem will continue to worsen with plans to close junction 27 for two months coming into operation within the week.

“I wrote to Charnock Richards services around a year ago,” he said. “Before I was even a councillor.

“I was stating a case to keep it open. I had no response from them.

“All of a sudden it was closed. I thought, ‘why now?’ Especially now we have extra housing and more traffic in Standish than ever.”

Coun Marsh says he is currently liaising with Highways England to mitigate the impacts of the junction 27 closures which are imminent.