Crossroads back to the start

Pedestrians negotiate Standish traffic lights
Pedestrians negotiate Standish traffic lights

A NEW traffic system on one of Wigan’s busiest crossroads has reverted back to the previous one after complaints from users.

The trial at the junction of Market Street, Preston Road, School Lane and High Street in Standish, lasted just three days because people were concerned that it didn’t allow enough time for pedestrians to cross the road.

Coun George Fairhurst, who together with his son and fellow councillor Gareth Fairhurst, prompted the original change after calling for safety improvement, welcomed the move.

He said: “I am very relieved that the lights will revert back to the previous system as I’m sure a lot of residents will be.

“I have been trying for five years to get a solution to the problem of people turning left from Market Street to High Street and was in discussions with the council who decided to trial the new system.

“As soon as it went in place I could tell it wasn’t working and Gareth felt the same way. We’re both glad the trial has ended.”

Terry Dunn, director of environment at Wigan Council, said: “This is an extremely busy junction and a number of drivers have been observed performing illegal manoeuvres across it. The councillors requested the council find a solution to this issue because they were concerned there was an unacceptable risk to pedestrian safety.

“Council officers devised a solution with expert help from Transport for Greater Manchester’s Urban Traffic Control unit. We agreed to trial the new system for a short period to see if it made any improvement.

“Following feedback from the public, we have decided to end the trial early. Work to revert to the previous system will be undertaken today (Wednesday).”

Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “I’m aware there has been a strong reaction in Standish since this trial began on Sunday. I’d like to make it clear it came about following persistent requests from Councillor George Fairhurst and Councillor Gareth Fairhurst. They wanted the council to make changes at the crossroads and it was agreed a new system would be trailed.

“Both councillors were kept informed of the plans so I’m a little surprised to learn they now believe the original system was preferable after all.

“There’s no doubt this is one of the borough’s busiest junctions. We’ve done a lot of work to make it as safe as possible for pedestrians while keeping traffic flowing. However, there’s a limit to what we can achieve.

“Hopefully now the ward councillors will recognise this.”