Bid to curb speeding on rat run road

Moss Lane, Platt Bridge
Moss Lane, Platt Bridge

SPEEDING motorists will be encouraged to slow down after a road safety campaigner demanded action on a street which has become a notorious rat run.

Wigan Council has agreed to install a sign on Moss Lane, in Platt Bridge, which will flash up the speed vehicles are travelling towards it in a bid to put the brakes on drivers travelling too fast.

The issue was flagged up by local resident Malcolm Parkinson, who has been asking for traffic calming measures to be introduced since 2009 due to the risk to road users and pedestrians from reckless, speeding motorists.

His concern was amplified by the tragic events in Platt Bridge last week, in which Stephanie Talbot was killed in a collision with a bus while crossing Platt Street.

Mr Parkinson’s campaign had previously resulted in the council carrying out a monitoring exercise on the road several years ago, and although the authority has indicated the road does not meet the criteria for more drastic action Wigan Council has agreed to try other measures to alleviate the concerns.

Mr Parkinson, 70, said: “People are coming hurtling down Moss Lane hell for leather, you wouldn’t believe the speeds.

“There’s blind bends and cars parked on both sides of the road most of the way down, and it’s impossible for two vehicles to pass at the same time, one of them has to stop.

“We’ve also now got HGVs and articulated lorries coming down here, because it’s used as a short cut at busy times to avoid some of the traffic island on the main road.

“You often hear the screech of brakes as people have to pull up sharply, and you take your life in your hands every time you cross the road.”

Mr Parkinson welcomed the decision to install a vehicle display, and said he would be monitoring the situation.

He said: “I’m pleased about it, and I will be keeping an eye on the traffic to see what difference it makes. It’s something that people have wanted to put in here before but they haven’t had the budget to do it.”

Mark Tilley, Wigan Council head of highways, said: “We appreciate Mr Parkinson’s concerns and we have a number of initiatives in place or coming soon to promote road safety. 

“Specifically on Moss Lane, there are existing ‘20s Plenty’ signs in place which help to highlight the likelihood of children crossing the road and encourage motorists to slow down and travel at more appropriate speeds.

“The council will shortly be installing a vehicle activated sign on Moss Lane which will flash up the speed of vehicles as they pass the sign.

“These signs have been successfully used in other areas of the borough to reduce vehicle speeds.

“We will be implementing 20mph limits on many residential roads from next year which will be well promoted and help raise the issue of driving at the right speed for the road.”