Councillor’s traffic flow battle

Councillor Paul Tushingham at Haydock Island
Councillor Paul Tushingham at Haydock Island
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A WIGAN councillor is demanding action to improve a busy roundabout which he says is clogging up traffic flow.

Ashton Independent councillor Paul Tushingham is in talks with the Highways Agency and St Helens Council to ease traffic flow around Haydock Island, at the intersection of A580 and A49.

He said that the current traffic signals which hold vehicles back cause tailbacks into Ashton town centre and it also causes chaos for motorists waiting to enter the M6 on the slip road.

But what he is most concerned about is the fact that traffic is held in the middle of the island, posing a potential danger.

He said: “There are three sets of lights to control the traffic.

“When traffic clears, cars held under the bridge tag on and there is no gap.

“When the traffic lights change again, vehicles held on the slip road join the rest of the cars which were held under the bridge, so there is a constant stream of traffic.

“Anyone trying to get off the A49 at Ashton and Newton-le-Willows will face a nightmare as traffic is held back from Haydock Island to the town centre, which is more than a mile away.

“In fact, when the traffic lights don’t work it flows much better.

“Another major concern is that traffic is held in the middle of the island and it is like a bowling alley.

“It is extremely dangerous.

“When traffic comes off the motorway, they can’t move through the grid lock.

“Traffic waiting northbound are queuing on the inside land of the M6 is dangerous. People on the motorway don’t expect traffic to be stood still.

“It is a stupid idea.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “We are aware of the problems some motorists are having at Junction 23 of the M6, near Haydock, and are working closely with St Helens Council to find a solution.

“The roundabout is on a key route for vehicles travelling to and from St Helens and other surrounding towns, and we are therefore doing everything we can to ensure traffic can flow a freely as possible.”

Coun Tushingham, Independent for Ashton, is up for re-election in the local elections on May 3.

A list of other candidates campaigning is not yet available.