Businesses saddled with problems

Malcom Foster outside the roadworks in front of his shop on Ormskirk Road
Malcom Foster outside the roadworks in front of his shop on Ormskirk Road

A WIGAN hairdresser has blasted the introduction of a cycle lane outside his shop, saying it is wrecking business.

Malcolm Foster, owner of M and J Fosters on Ormskirk Road, has raised concerns about the lane structure at Saddle Junction and says it has adversely affected trade for many shops on the road.

The path for cyclists has been removed from the road and is now incorporated into the pavements instead, for safety reasons.

Describing it as an “absolute shambles,” Mr Foster said that many businesses have lost custom because it is now harder to park outside. Some fear they may have to shut down if this continues.

He said “Ever since they placed the cycle lanes on the footpath it’s been absolutely crazy. And it isn’t just me who thinks this. I know a lot of other business owners along the row agree with me.

“There are takeaways and a newsagent who have experienced a fall in profits recently because customers are unable to park quickly in front of the shop and nip in for their desired items.

“And it isn’t just this. The new cycle lane isn’t safe, especially for elderly pedestrians and ladies with prams. Cyclists will come flying down and could easily cause an accident. I’m sure it won’t be long until something happens. I haven’t spoken to one person who is in favour of this change.”

A Council spokesman said: “There have been several serious accidents in this area in the last five years involving cyclists and motorists. The cycle safe scheme will dramatically improve safety for cyclists on one of the busiest traffic routes in the borough.

“As regards pedestrian safety, this has been an important consideration during development of the scheme. We believe the safety of pedestrians will actually be improved along this route once work is complete on the cycle scheme.”