Nightmare junction’s new layout

Marus Bridge Island roadworks
Marus Bridge Island roadworks

A NEW temporary layout has gone live at a junction that has caused traffic misery in recent weeks.

Wigan Council has been swamped with complaints from motorists after they endured mammoth delays while queuing to cross what was once Marus Bridge roundabout.

Work got underway in July to transform the junction into one that is traffic light controlled.

Temporary signals were put in place last week but they only seemed to add to the problem and Council bosses have now revealed their revised plan.

It will see motorists travelling from the south (Ashton in Makerfield and junction 25 of the M6) unable to turn right onto Poolstock Lane.

Those travelling in the opposite direction will be able to turn left or carry straight on at the junction but will be unable to go right onto Highfield Grange Avenue and towards Winstanley.

The map supplied by Wigan Council showing the new temporary layout at Marus Bridge

The map supplied by Wigan Council showing the new temporary layout at Marus Bridge

Those travelling from Poolstock and Winstanley can only turn left.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “We have been listening to residents’ views about the issues at Marus Bridge and have decided to remove the temporary lights to allow traffic to flow more easily.

“The temporary signals were installed for safety reasons, but because of the build-up in traffic we’ve decided to remove them. In order to maintain road safety, which is absolutely paramount, we have introduced some short term restrictions to access. This will improve road safety and manage traffic flows more effectively during the final phase of construction.

“The revised layout means motorists travelling from north to south (towards the motorway) will be able to drive straight ahead or turn left into Poolstock Lane. Similarly motorists travelling south to north (from the motorway) will be able to drive straight ahead or turn left into Highfield Grange Avenue. Motorists travelling from east to west (from Poolstock to Winstanley) will need to turn left and turn around at the next roundabout. This new layout should help avoid confusion and ease traffic. Signs will be installed, clearly instructing motorists how to use the junction. Where possible commuters are advised to use alternative routes.”

Once again this morning cars were bumper to bumper leading up to the junction.

Temporary lights were put in place last week by Wigan Council but it appears they have had little to no effect, with many drivers commenting on the Wigan Today Facebook page that they have made matters even worse.

One road user said: “The traffic over the past couple of days has been getting worse and worse, and today it was complete carnage.

“The queues were packing up to the sliproad off the M6. If the council reckons the temporary lights have helped they’re totally wrong; it has made it much, much worse.”

This was an opinion shared by many who commented on our previous story on Friday about the Council’s introduction of the lights.

Another complaint is that the roundabout itself was functioning perfectly well and didn’t need the transformation, which is scheduled to finish the week before Christmas.

On the Wigan Today Facebook page, Liam Green wrote: “The lights have made it worse, there was nothing wrong with the round about put it back as it was.

“I live in Springfield and work in Manchester I now find it faster to carry on the M6 to Standish and come home through Shevington. This is putting miles on my journey but reducing the time in total due to me not being stuck in Marus Bridge.”

Not everyone was as critical of the works though. Phil Bentham said: “The only problem with this roundabout is the speed people go round it, slow down to go round! Give all a chance to get on and move on.”

Work is still on course to be completed by the week before Christmas and it’s hoped that once everything is done, traffic will flow better than ever in the area,

Mr Tilley added: “The work is in its last phase with completion expected week commencing December 14. I’d like to thank residents for bearing with us while the works have been taking place. We will continue to provide updates through our social media pages and would encourage residents to let us know if these measures are working.

“Once complete, the junction will improve travel times along the A49. It will also help increase capacity at the junction and improve connectivity for commuters travelling through and into Wigan town centre, tying in with our ambition to attract investment in Wigan borough.”