More Saddle chaos

A tight squeeze for the bus as resurfacing work continues at the Saddle Junction
A tight squeeze for the bus as resurfacing work continues at the Saddle Junction

ROADWORKS at Saddle Junction caused chaos for commuters for the second day running.

Queues caused by road works meant rush hour drivers had to wait for up to an hour to get into Wigan town centre from the M6 at Junction 25.

Warrington Road was grid-locked until around 10am, but council transport chiefs say the disruption should last no longer than a few more days, with work expected to be completed for Monday’s official launch of the new Saddle Relief Road.

Mark Tilley, head of infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “Work on the new Southgate road, running between Wallgate and Saddle Junction, is ongoing and as a result we are experiencing higher levels of traffic congestion. We’d like to apologise to drivers for the disruption this is causing and thank them for their patience.

“It is anticipated work on the multi-million pound Saddle relief road scheme will be complete by Friday,March 15.

“That will mean for the first time there will be two lanes of traffic heading towards Wigan town centre under Wallgate bridge.

“This will significantly cut journey times and reduce congestion.”

However, it has come as scant consolation to many motorists who were late for work yesterday morning.

One commuter told the Post: “I came off the M6 at 8.30am and it took me an hour to get to Robin Park. There are no signposts for diversions - it was a joke.”

The new scheme sees vehicles leaving Wigan will now use two lanes beyond the Tidy Britain building at Elizabeth House and the bus lane will also be removed beyond Swan Meadow Road.

Traffic entering Wigan from the Saddle going under the railway bridge will be unaffected but will eventually be opened up to two lanes in February when two lanes leading out of Wigan along Wallgate will also become fully operational.

In December, council engineers said the new relief road was a success after they monitored traffic movements on CCTV.

Other works carried out include a new £330,000 attenuation tank to deal with potential flood risks.