Councillor's new safety bid for notorious Wigan junction

Coun Fairhurst at the junction is Standish
Coun Fairhurst at the junction is Standish

A box junction could be installed at a notorious Wigan crossroads where motorists take dangerous and illegal risks.

Coun George Fairhurst has long voiced fears about the potential for fatal traffic accidents at the junction of High Street, Preston Road, Market Street and School Lane in Standish: one of the borough’s most congested intersections at peak times.

Related: 'A crash waiting to happen' at Wigan junction

And now his campaign to reduce the dangers to pedestrians and other road users has seen him meet police and council officials to show them first hand just how some drivers flout red lights and the speed limit.

He said: “We saw people coming through on red lights for some time after they changed. We were there for a good amount of time. They agree with me about this, and they are going to do their best.

“We came up with a few different ideas, the main one being putting a box junction in. Whether that works or not we would have to wait and see.

“I asked for a camera to be put there permanently, but they could cost lots of money.

“Without changes though sooner or later, there is going to be one hell of a smash if something is not done.

“The people of Standish pay a lot of money in council taxes, they deserve something back.”

Despite there being a traffic light filter system in operation at the junction, Coun Fairhurst says he has witnessed scores of cars driving through red lights, resulting in several near-misses.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council said: “Public safety is a key priority for us and we will continuously work with communities to ensure our roads are as safe as they can be.

“At our meeting about the traffic in Standish, it was agreed that measures could be put in place to address residents’ concerns.

“Over the next few weeks, a yellow box will be put in place at the Standish crossroads junction to help the traffic flow through the village centre.

“In addition, we have agreed to place an additional sign on Rectory Lane before the Market Place junction to remind motorists that they need to turn left down Market Place as concerns were raised about motorists turning left at Standish crossroads, which is a banned turning manoeuvre.

“We have agreed that we will work with the local councillors to monitor the situation moving forward but we are confident that these mitigations will have a positive impact on the local area.”