PEDESTRIANS hope to cross safely thanks to a new traffic light system at a busy Wigan junction.
Coun George Fairhurst said the signals at the intersection of Preston Road and High Street in Standish allowed pedestrians to cross some of the roads while vehicles continued to flow.
In theory they should be safe but some motorists are still making an illegal turns onto Market Street, putting lives in danger.
As a result Coun Fairhurst has been working with the council’s highways department to introduce a pilot scheme where all lights were on red at the time same and install cameras to prevent motorists turning left.
The trial will start today (Thursday) and will last two weeks. The anticipated downside is that traffic will be further slowed down at an already busy junction.
Coun Fairhurst said: “I am trying to make the crossroads a lot safer for pedestrians. A few suggestions were made, including to move the crossing nearer to NatWest bank.
“But the best solution seems to be to have all the traffic lights on red, meaning people can cross at all the junctions at the same time and feel safe that no other cars are coming towards them. And cameras will be going back up, meaning anyone who turns left into Market Street will be caught.”
Kevin Hargreaves, traffic manager at Wigan Council, said: “Concerns have been expressed to the council that pedestrians are being put at risk at the junction of Preston Road and High Street in Standish because motorists are illegally turning.
“The traffic signals are set in such a way to allow pedestrians to cross part of the junction while traffic continues to flow on the other side. Unfortunately, drivers have been performing illegal turns into the path of pedestrians when they have right of way.
“A number of steps have been taken to address this including extending the kerb to make turns difficult. But the problem has persisted.
“It is proposed, for a trial period, to protect pedestrians further by preventing all traffic flowing across the junction when pedestrians are crossing. We are aware this could potentially create additional delays at what is already a congested junction. The purpose of the trial is to gauge the impact of the changes.
“Data is being gathered prior to the change and will be compared to data during the trial. An observation camera has also been installed at the junction to monitor its effectiveness.”