Wigan Council seeks approval for an improvement to major link road design
A planning application seeking approval on improvements to a high-profile infrastructure scheme in Wigan has been submitted.
Wigan Council has submitted an application relating to the M58 link road.
Changes include the creation of a new highway junction on Billinge Road and a new bridge crossing the Kirby branch rail line, minimising long-term disruption and improving traffic flow.
The submission follows engagement with nearby residents and local businesses, who were invited to review the new proposed design and provide their feedback.
Network Rail, which owns the bridge, expressed concerns about the structure’s capability to accommodate increased traffic, without substantial refurbishment, which would cause significant disruption.
To ensure the scheme minimises this and to resolve the issue of the bridge maintenance, design consultants found an alternative option which avoided the bridge altogether.
The new proposals seek planning approval to change the Billinge Road junction near Pemberton train station and to create a new bridge, which will significantly minimise road closures and disruption during construction.
Aidan Thatcher, interim director of economy and skills at Wigan Council said: “There’s no question that the existing plans would have led to large-scale disruption and possible 12-month road closures of Billinge Road, which will be minimised if the current plans secure approval.
“I’d like to thank the members of the public who responded to our engagement exercise either by providing feedback or asking questions.”
The previously approved design also prohibited a right turn from the Smithy Brook Road side of the link road onto Billinge Road and a short section of Enfield Street was to be made one way.
The proposed improvements will allow motorists to travel in all directions and Enfield Street will continue to accommodate two-way traffic.
The new proposals also means that majority of the construction works can take place off the highway, reduced temporary diversions and there will be no need to provide new access to the train station, reducing disruption further.
Mr Thatcher added: “Once complete, the link road will significantly improve connectivity both in and out of the borough, in turn creating new opportunities for housing and development.
“Local residents will also benefit as congestion on local roads, including the busy A577 Ormskirk Road, will be eased.”
Once complete, the M58 link road will connect J26 of the M6 with Wigan town centre via the A49 link road.
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