Calls for roads masterplan to stop Wigan town’s traffic grinding to a halt

Coun Danny Fletcher leads demands amid 'gridlock' on Ashton's roads from morning to evening

Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 1:02 pm

A town’s roads have become outdated and desperately need sorting to stop congestion and residential back streets being used as rat-runs.

That is the view of Ashton councillor Danny Fletcher who has urged Wigan Council do something about his area’s infrastructure.

Coun Fletcher said all routes into Ashton town centre are gridlocked from morning to evening and that commuters use minor streets to bypass the jams.

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Coun Danny Fletcher on Gerard Street

He said: “At this present time all routes into Ashton town centre are gridlocked from 7.30am to 6pm.

“Commuters have taken to back roads to cut out traffic, creating dangerous rat-runs across Ashton’s 20mph roads.

“It’s a situation that is worsening and causing local Ashton residents, and commuters, a great deal of frustration.

“Do we have any future road infrastructure plans for Ashton or any future meetings that can be arranged to discuss this specific topic?

“If you could also point me in the direction of documents relating to any past meetings aimed at improving Ashton’s road infrastructure that would be fantastic.

“I feel this needs to be addressed as a priority.”

Coun Fletcher said he has not heard anything back from the town hall yet to address what he said has been a long-standing issue.

He added: “It’s been a big problem over the last 20 years. The road infrastructure has been outdated since then.

“Congestion has got worse as road user numbers have increased.

“More cars being on the road is an issue but that’s not the fault of commuters who have to go to work and

school.

“The main roads are Wigan Road, Bolton Road and Warrington Road but you get commuters using the 20mph side roads to cut out traffic and they become major roads also.

“There is a need for new road infrastructure in Ashton, something needs to be done.

“Highways need to put forward options to ease congestion, as it can’t stay like it is. Enough is enough.”

As well as the road infrastructure, Coun Fletcher said Ashton was a “hub” for HGV drivers.

He said; “You’ve got the development at Haydock point and the plans for the Three Sisters industrial estate.

“You only need three HGVs and Ashton is clogged

up.”

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at the council said: “Although we do not have long-term, major infrastructure proposals for Ashton town centre at this time, we are continuously encouraging residents and commuters to think differently about how they travel where possible in order to reduce congestion, improve air quality and increase positive health and wellbeing.

“Our cycling and walking agenda is high on our priority list as we do our bit to connect district centres and other local authority areas in the city-region as part of the Bee Network - Greater Manchester’s ambition to be the largest cycling and walking network in the UK.

“We are always willing to discuss such topics with ward councillors in line with our commitment to being open, transparent and collaborative.”

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