Frustration for motorists on Wigan roads

Longer commute for Wiganers
Longer commute for Wiganers

WIGAN commuters are facing increasingly frustrating journeys to work, official figures have confirmed.

Both the average speed on the borough’s A-road network and the time it takes to drive a mile at peak time are worse than last year.

The figures also represent a steady decline in recent years with the downward curve set to continue in the next data set.

As the current statistics are for the 12 months up to September 2015, therefore not taking into account the recent traffic chaos caused by the Marus Bridge roundabout roadworks.

However, a town hall transport boss has suggested that Wigan’s workforce is better off than counterparts in other areas in Greater Manchester.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure, told the Evening Post: “Wigan borough is still ranked the second best performer in terms of average speed and average time to drive a mile across GM.

“Improving travel times and connectivity remains at the top of our list of priorities and there’s a whole host of major transport improvements in the pipeline aimed at easing traffic congestion and improving travel across the borough.”

The statistics show the average time it takes to travel a mile during the morning commute has risen from 3.02 to 3.10 minutes since last year. This is worse than the North West average of 2.77, but favourable to the GM average of 3.49, which is increased significantly by central Manchester’s congestion figures.

Similarly, average speeds have slowed from 19.9 last year to 19.4 for the 12 months up to September 2015. Again, this is worse than NW (21.7) but better than GM (17.2) averages. The report focuses on the weekday morning peak from 7am to 10am.

The council has recently completed its major overhaul of what was the Marus Bridge roundabout into a junction but the changes have caused traffic problems.

Mr Tilley added: “Further improvements to the borough’s road network include the A49 link road with construction due to commence early in 2016, which when complete will mean faster journey times in and out of Wigan town centre.

“Plus the Phoenix Way to Seaman Way link road in Ince is due to start construction in late 2016. And a number of planning applications will be submitted next year to provide clarity on further transport improvements including the M58 link road and the Amberswood link road.”