Wigan township residents may have new say on unpopular road-widening plan

The door has been left open to further consultation about a controversial Wigan road-widening scheme.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:00 pm
Almond Green Avenue

Standish Voice neighbourhood forum, the village’s councillors and the majority of people who responded to a council survey are opposed to widening School Lane into three lanes of traffic and the forum says a new through road opening in the village must be factored in before the scheme is taken forward by the council.

In 2014, a protest group campaigned against Almond Brook Link Road, running from Almond Brook Road to Pepper Lane, which Wigan Council said would ease traffic congestion at the village’s crossroads.

But council planners approved the through road, which opened up fields for the building of 600 homes in the north of the village, with Bloor Homes and Wainhomes now having completed most of the developments.

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The through road linking the two estates is set to join up soon and Standish Voice is calling for more traffic modelling when the through route opens.

A Standish Voice spokesman said: “The local authority insisted on this through road when many residents were against it, but the council claimed that the road would ease congestion, including at Standish crossroads. They presented modelling to show this before the planning applications were passed. This new road is now ready to open.

“With the widening of School Lane such a controversial proposal – which we believe will be a waste of £1.6m, attract more through traffic into Standish, impact road safety, heighten pollution and open up more of our green fields to development – we believe further modelling needs to be done when this new through road opens and before any decision to allow it is made.

“This widening proposal should be scrapped but if the council insists on it there needs to be a very clear, long-term and sustainable benefit shown for the scheme before the council agrees to all the disruption and the destruction of one of the main entrances to the village centre and its conservation area.

“If the through road does reduce congestion at Standish crossroads – like the council repeatedly said it would – it needs to be properly modelled and factored into any decision on the widening scheme.”

Julie Middlehurst, council assistant director for infrastructure, said: “We are aware of the strength of local feeling regarding any works being undertaken to School Lane, which has been expressed through a consultation undertaken with the community earlier this year. Works are nearing completion on new road infrastructure in Standish which is associated with new residential developments.

“We are currently considering an ask from the community that traffic modelling for Standish is updated in the light of the new road, to understand the impact on School Lane and the wider area. The Council will respond to the requester directly once it has fully considered the request.”

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