Fears mount as new link road edges closer

Campaigners at Meadowbrook Estate object to road which will cut between them and Pemberton village
Campaigners at Meadowbrook Estate object to road which will cut between them and Pemberton village
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Wigan residents have lashed out at town hall plans to build a link road to the M58 saying the carriageway will “isolate” communities and cause a plummet in house prices.

Wigan council this week announced that it has submitted a full planning application to build the “congestion-busting” link road which, if approved, could be completed as soon as 2020.

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But residents living in the path of the new carriageway have hit back at the council, saying that they have not “had their say” and that the publicised consultation process was just masking what is believed to be a “foregone conclusion”.

A 25-year-old first-time homeowner living in Highfield Grange, said: “There have been talks of this link road for a long time but now that it is becoming a reality it is very worrying. We have only had our house for a year and have spent a lot of money doing it up.

“What I worry about now is that, with this link road, which will be right at the back of our house, our house prices could really fall.

“Also, the traffic down Enfield Street and around Highfield with the schools in a morning is already shocking, what is it going to be like with another road and yet more cars that will use our area as a drive through?”

Christine Birchall, who lives on Brook Lane, added that the road will “isolate” her and her neighbours from Pemberton, forcing them to cross a busy dual carriageway to get out of their residential street.

“It’s a dangerous road,” she said. “What about children crossing it? Because there will be - and that’s the only way they will be able to get to the shops.

It’s not so much reducing traffic because it’s just going to increase it.

“We have been given no idea of what’s going on, no letters to say that the planning application is now going in.

“There’s been no real consultation about how it’s going to affect our lives. We just feel it is a foregone conclusion.”

The road will connect junction 26 of the M6/M58 motorways with Wigan town centre, passing through Pemberton Business Park.

Town hall officials have said it will create key transport links and better connectivity across the borough.

A council spokesman said: “We consulted with local residents and businesses on the proposals for the link road in late 2015.

“Since then we have been revising the plans to accommodate local ideas where possible to minimise the impact and increase the benefits for the local community.

“As well as providing significant relief to the busy A577 through Pemberton and Newtown, the road will open up areas for new housing and business development creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

“We understand this involves change for local residents and are committed to support them and inform them as much as possible throughout the process.

“Over the past few weeks we have written to 3,000 properties surrounding the planned road to inform residents about the upcoming planning application.”