Petition launched opposing Standish road widening scheme

Campaigners hope controversial proposals for a road widening scheme will be scrapped after setting up a petition.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 7:00 am

Standish’s three councillors have joined residents’ group Standish Voice in opposing the plans to add a third lane to School Lane in the village’s centre.

Wigan Council’s proposal – which will cost up to £1.6m – is designed to improve traffic flow at Standish crossroads .

But the councillors and Standish Voice believe it will have minimal impact for drivers but ruin an entrance to the historic village.

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L-R Coun Whittingham, Coun Parkinson, and then Standish Voice’s Gill Foster and Paul Ogden with Coun Marsh

They fear it will promote extra through traffic and increase the likelihood of more housebuilding in the future.

Now they have come together to launch the petition after the end of the public consultation on council infrastructure projects. These are aimed at mitigating the impacts of 1,500 houses being built in Standish.

A spokesman for Standish Voice said opposition to the scheme is “almost universal” across the village.

They said: “It is a waste of money and would only increase the number of cars coming through Standish in the long term. We hope the council will drop this proposal immediately.

“We agreed to let the public have their say during the consultation, but now it has ended we will all be campaigning against this ill-judged idea.

“We have put forward alternative ideas to this plan which will make Standish centre a much more pleasant place to shop in, work in and visit.”

Conservative councillor Ray Whittingham said the proposal will “increase” the air pollution on School Lane but won’t reduce congestion.

He said: “If there is any decrease in traffic numbers, it will only open the gate to more houses.

“There’s no point in it and it will just open up a can of worms. I hope as many people as possible will sign this petition to make the council think again.”

Conservative councillor Adam Marsh said: “I’ve opposed the widening of School Lane since the start of discussions with the Council. The way Wigan Council have conducted this consultation has been dismal to say the least.

“That’s why it’s important as many people sign this petition as possible. It only takes a second, and will, hopefully, make a big difference in stopping this proposal in its tracks.”

Labour’s councillor Debbie Parkinson added: “Residents have been contacting me to protest against the plan. I am pleased they have had a chance to have their say and as their councillor will fight for what they want.”

Wigan Council said the legislation governing the funding does not allow for complete freedom on how the money can be spent. The authority said that any schemes do have to help mitigate the adverse impacts of housing development that has been granted.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at the council said: “It’s important that we make future decisions in partnership with local people, which is why we launched this survey and encouraged residents and businesses to have their say.

“Prior to this consultation, discussions took place with interested parties and local groups, which helped form the options available.

“Now the survey has closed, we will input all paper copies and will collate the responses submitted in order to continue our analysis and assessment of the most effective measures.

“We appreciate the time, insight and suggestions given from the community about how to spend the money in a way that will benefit local people.

“Residents views will be considered to develop the programme further, whilst mitigating the development impact.”

People can sign the e-petition by visiting the council’s website and searching for petitions, but they must log in with the council to do this.