Bid to get Wigan quagmire verge resurfaced

An opposition councillor is banking on people power to get churned-up grass verges on a Wigan street laid with asphalt.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 4:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 5:08 pm
The churned up verge

Bryn Independent Steve Jones says he has been trying for several months to persuade town hall staff to consider changes on Grange Road.

He says vehicles have to park partly on the verge because the road is too narrow to leave them entirely on the street, leading to one particular stretch being turned into a puddled mudbath.

He says he is not even looking for the cash-strapped authority to fund the work itself but merely explore with him potential sources of money to do it. He has now got residents in the affected houses to sign a petition in the hope of galvanising the local authority.

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Bryn Independent councillors Steve Jones and Andrew Collinson with Grange Road resident David Parkinson

And it seems the council, which initially suggested it had no plans to turn verges to asphalt, may be open to the idea after all, given the level of local support.

Coun Jones said: “The verges are a mess. The problem is you can’t fit two cars parallel to each other so visitors have got to park on the grass. We’re not talking about the whole of Grange Road, it’s probably around 15 houses.

“Making the verges asphalt has been done in lots of other areas in the borough. I’ve suggested we should see if outside funding is available to do it or if it could be done through Brighter Borough, but I’ve had no answer. It seems like we’ve no choice but to get a petition to show the support for the idea. This is how much we are struggling as councillors to get stuff done.”

Coun Jones says he has now requested a meeting with Wigan Council’s director for environment Paul Barton after handing in his residents’ petition. And Mr Barton has said that he has now offered to talk to those involved to find a way forward.

Mr Barton said: “We encourage councillors to log requests and reports through our internal ReportIt for Councillors system. This ensures that our officers are able to respond in a timely fashion and are equipped with all the information they need to consider any requests.

“This request was logged by our officers and was responded to following inspection of the verge. After receiving further information from local residents we have now agreed to a site meeting in order to discuss a potential solution.”