One of the borough’s biggest roads will close for three nights as BBC crews film the latest prime-time drama.
The eight-episode series “Curfew” boasts a star-studded cast with celebrated English actors Sean Bean, Miranda Richardson and Billy Zane.
East Lancs Road will be closed in Lowton between the junction of Newton Road and the A579 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night from 8pm to 6am.
A letter sent to Lowton residents from Tiger Aspect Drama Ltd says: “As our scenes here are set during the hours of darkness, we plan to film throughout the night, out of peak times.
“Our filming here will involve stunt driving. For reasons of safety we have been provisionally granted permission to put into place a road and footpath closure on a specific section of the A580.”
Curfew, which is set in a “near-future” environment, will follow the duration of a streetcar race. The eight-part drama will represent one long night in which the winner of the race must reach the finish line by sunrise.
A synopsis included in the letter adds: “At night in this world, the shutters come down, the streets are cleared and a curfew is enforced.
“A virus is turning citizens into deadly creatures and the only hope of escaping this society is to win the race.”
Some residents have taken to social media to raise concerns about the level of noise that could be generated by the stunt drivers and additional props.
James Grundy wrote: “What consideration or consultation has taken place with residents affected? If not, why not? They are prepared to magnanimously offer earplugs for any adversely affected residents.”
Another disgruntled resident, Colin Savage, added: “So they can apply for, and be granted closure of a major UK trunk road for three consecutive nights, to make whatever noise or disturbance they need, and no one even bothers to consider the residents.
“But they have offered “earplugs”. I think someone is going to be paying hotel fees if this happens.”
Film crews have assured residents that they have scheduled the “noisier scenes” for earlier in the evening to lessen the impact.
“We would also like to draw your attention to the use of a prop firearm,” added the location manager Danny Newton. “Several of the scenes scripted here involve the use of a prop gun.
“Use of these replica firearms is overseen at all times by a fully qualified armourer.
“Whilst we appreciate our presence may have some impact on the local community, please be assured that we are working tirelessly to minimise any disruption as much as possible.”
Mark Tilley, Wigan Council’s assistant director for infrastructure, said: “The council was pleased to be able to support the filming of this major TV series in the borough and shows how we are supportive of the creative arts and the film industry.
“The road closures are planned to minimise disruption and the production company have written to nearby residents outlining the activity that is taking place and reassuring them about measures in place.
“In terms of road closures the A580 East Lancashire will be closed between the junctions of the A572 Newton Road and the A579 Atherleigh Way in both directions from Monday 7th May to Friday 11th May between 8pm and 6am.
“A manned road closure will be implemented with diversion routes clearly sign posted. The diversion route is A572 Newton Road/A579 Atherleigh Way.”
Anyone with concerns can contact the filming office on 0161 850 9585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org