Areas for improvement identified by Wigan Council survey

A Wigan Council survey has identified traffic flow and congestion as the most important areas for improvement for residents in one part of the borough.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 3:18 pm
Work on Newton Road is one of the local council's preferred options

Earlier this year, people in Golborne and Lowton were asked for their views on how to spend a budget of £8.6m, which needs to be used on specific schemes to mitigate the impacts of house building in the area.

Thousands of comments were collected by the local authority, with a list of viable options presented, with the aim of improving traffic flow, cycling and walking facilities, parking and community spaces.

Aidan Thatcher, assistant director for growth and housing at Wigan Council said: “Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone for their cooperation and patience while our teams analysed the terrific number of responses we received as part of the engagement exercise.

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People in Golborne and Lowton were asked for their views on how to spend a budget to mitigate the impacts of house building in the area.

“We’ve now got access to rich local insights that will be incredibly useful in guiding the next stage of investment.

“It’s really important that we spend this money in partnership with the community, so we’ve already met with ward councillors and local community groups to share the results of the survey and keep them informed.”

After receiving a mixed response from the public, the local authority’s preferred options in relation to the highway were to create a new left turn from A580 to Newton Road (southbound) or widen Stone Cross Lane to create three lanes with the installation of an additional right turn lane.

Around 19 percent of respondents said Newton Road should be the priority project, with 16 percent saying it should be Stone Cross Lane.

Another project put forward was changing the Golborne roundabout to a traffic signalled junction, with 31 percent of respondents rating this as the most important highways project.

Mr Thatcher added: “Traffic modelling work shows that Newton Road and Stone Cross Lane have the greatest benefit in relation to congestion in the area, however, the alternative options provided also received support, which we will take into consideration.

“We also acknowledge the community aspiration for a bypass near to the East Lancashire Road, however, this would require funding that supersedes what we currently have access to and would require significant approvals from neighbouring authorities.”

Of the cycling projects put forward, almost 38 percent of responses believe upgrades to the existing public rights of way network, adjacent to the Rothwell’s Farm development site, was the most important, closely followed by improved footway provision at Slag Lane.

All three open space and play schemes received overall support and 32 percent of respondents were happy with the suggested improvements to the Bank Street and Railway Road car parks.

Meanwhile, respondents also expressed support for community projects, including upgrades to the facilities at St. Mary’s Hall and Golborne Library.

Mr Thatcher said: “Open engagement with our communities is key to delivering projects tailored to local needs. Now we’ve consolidated the feedback, the projects will go through the council’s governance process to determine which ones will be funded.

“Choices will be made based on which schemes will lead to the best mitigation of house building impact, while also considering the important comments put forward.

“Design and costs will also need to be finalised, meaning there will be scheme specific consultations at a later date.”

Some of the funds have already been committed to various education related projects, including expanding Golborne High School to cater for additional capacity.

Wigan Council will update stakeholder groups and the wider public as the projects progress and decisions are made.