M58 link road WILL go ahead

Councillors have given the green light to a much-debated route set to run from a motorway junction towards Wigan town centre.


The planning committee at Wigan Council approved the 2.3km M58 link road running from the Orrell interchange of the M6 to Smithy Brook Road.

An aerial view of what the M58 link road will look like coming away from junction 26 of the M6 at Orrell

An aerial view of what the M58 link road will look like coming away from junction 26 of the M6 at Orrell

Officers told the committee the single carriageway route will ease congestion, especially on Ormskirk Road and surrounding streets, while improving air quality by keeping traffic moving.

Although many details are still subject to further design work a list of conditions includes acoustic fencing along the route and wide paths for cycling and walking.

After the scheme got the go-ahead council leaders hailed the road as a major part of the borough’s economic and transport strategies.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Through investing in improved roads not only can we give people better access to jobs and opportunities, but we can continue to fulfil our promise to encourage more businesses to invest in the borough.

“We know through talking to businesses and residents that they want better east-west connectivity.”

However some residents are deeply unhappy at the scheme, which connects Leopold Street with two new sections of road.

Geoff Heddle, the speaker against the development, said: “Residents on the Meadowbrook estate will have to cross a very busy road intended for freight traffic to get anywhere and the route runs from a junction known for accidents past gardens where children play. There will be more noise and more pollution.”

The road, which will have a 30mph speed limit, will connect to the A49 link road. New pitches will have to be provided for Orrell St James ARLFC.

Atherton independent Coun Stuart Gerrard was the lone dissenting voice.