Motorists (including many rugby fans) were left fuming after a Wigan main road was shut for repairs leaving some drivers with a six-mile detour to get to their destinations.
There’s never a perfect time to shut routes and many will be happy that Wigan Road in New Springs will eventually have an ultra-smooth carriageway rather than the potholed asphalt it will replace.
But there were more complaints than usual because it blocked a key route from Wigan to the University of Bolton Stadium on Sunday for rugby fans wanting to watch the two Challenge Cup semi-finals being played there.
The council had informed motorists of the work on its weekly roadworks bulletin. But those who hadn’t thought to view it ground to a standstill at the Hawkshaw Grove junction and then had to find their way round to Aspull or the stadium by a diversions via Hindley or Red Rock.
One fan said: “I was running late as it was and when I realised that Wigan Road was shut, I had a real job on to find an alternative route and only just got to the St Helens-Catalans game in time. I know these roads have to be closed if we want rid of potholes and that Sundays are better than any other day to do the work, but this possibly wasn’t the best Sunday to do it on.”
And the works is not done yet. The weekend’s endeavours only took the old surface off. It will also be closed again between 7am and 5pm for the next two Sundays before the project is complete.
A council spokesperson said: “We do currently have a number of resurfacing schemes taking place across the borough and thank residents for their patience while we carry out these necessary works to improve our roads. We apologise for any disruption caused and we are doing what we can keep disruption to a minimum.”