MP intervenes in junction row

Crawling traffic on the M6 at Haydock Island
Crawling traffic on the M6 at Haydock Island

AN MP is demanding answers as over-running work on one of the borough’s busiest commuting routes causes traffic chaos.

Makerfield’s Yvonne Fovargue stepped in after drivers faced miles of queues on the M6 and East Lancashire Road trying to get onto the Haydock Island roundabout.

She has asked the Highways Agency for an update on the situation as major work, which was meant to have finished at the end of March, was only expected to be completed today.

Ms Fovargue said the enormous tailbacks at the roundabout have been causing misery for motorists and that she will step in again if Wigan commuters, particularly those driving south from the Ashton area, are inconvenienced in the future.

She said: “The works at Haydock Island are designed to benefit motorists and hopefully make that part of a very busy route easier to navigate and safer.

“But the late running of the works has caused considerable disruption for local people who have contacted me by email and on social media with their experiences of long delays.

“I would expect action if long delays on the A49 from Ashton remain.”

Contractor Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald (BBMM) told Ms Fovargue in an email that the long delays were due to motorists’ being uncertain as to how to use the new road lay-out at Haydock Island and the changes needed time to bed in.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Traffic from the A580 wishing to access the M6 should now travel straight through the roundabout and turn right for their exit.

“This is a new route, and it is clear many commuters are unsure of this and are still travelling around the roundabout.

“Thus the roundabout access gets blocked for traffic coming on to it from the A49 or M6 off slips.”

The traffic light system on the re-modelled roundabout was finally switched on last week after a fault with one of the control panels was found and needed fixing.

The Highways Agency warned there are still some minor issues with the system and drivers may still face peak time delays while the lights are adjusted.

The organisation also said more minor changes will need to be done at Haydock Island but these will be at night and during off-peak hours to avoid long queues at busy times.