Pottery Road bus lane axed

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A CONTROVERSIAL bus lane blamed for part of Wigan’s traffic chaos is to be scrapped, transport chiefs announced today.

Since it was first installed next to Wigan Pier nine years ago, the lane in Pottery Road has been a source of fierce debate.

While welcomed by the green lobby and those using public transport, it has been reviled by other road users because it has added to already bad congestion at the Saddle junction.

Council bosses today stressed that it hasn’t been axed because it is a failed experiment, but because it would not work once the new congestion-busting Saddle Relief Road is completed next year.

And while the proposed removal of the lane has been welcomed by some campaigners, at least one bus company has voiced concerns.

Emma Barton, transport strategy manager said: “Although people made the decision to use buses more when a bus lane was put in on Pottery Road, it will be coming out. With all the different proposals around the Saddle area, having a bus lane just would not work.

“But despite this, there will be key benefits and initiatives in place to get buses past. We will be looking at finding better opportunities for people to choose to get to their destinations.”

The news received a mixed reaction today as the Wigan Evening Post continued canvassing local views on the borough’s key transport issues.

Mike Winstanley, chairman of the Wigan Conservatives Federation, said: “It made no sense whatsoever having a two-lane road that couldn’t be used in the daytime when traffic was at its most congested.

“Wherever these bus lanes have been introduced, they cause chaos.

But Dave Leonard, area operations manager for First in Wigan, said: “The bus lane from Wallgate along Pottery Road southbound out of Wigan to Saddle Junction is one of the best bus priority schemes in the borough. At peak times, journey times will be significantly longer.”

without the bus priority measures currently in place.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the council to ensure that any such issues are managed efficiently and that our bus passengers in Wigan get the best possible service.”

The bus lane on Wigan Road, Standish will remain.