Hundreds of people call for improved safety measures on busy Wigan road

More than 500 people have signed a petition as a long-standing campaign for safety measures on a busy Wigan road is stepped up.

Speeding vehicles have been a major issue on Upholland Road in Billinge for many years.

Councillors are reported to have highlighted it numerous times to council officers and residents have even carried out their own community speed-watch initiative on the 30mph road.

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Coun Steven Evans, centre, receives the petition from Michael Winstanley and Angela Stockley

Two men – Dave Culleton, 82, and Keith Brown, 79 – died after being hit by a car on Upholland Road on December 20, 2019, while Mr Brown’s wife Ruth was badly hurt. Simon Gornall, 47, of Gauntley Gardens, Billinge, was jailed for 12 months in 2021 for two counts of causing death by careless driving.

Despite some changes being made, such as improved road markings and signs, speeding vehicles and road safety are still key worries for people living in the area.

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Concerned residents Jo Painter and Angela Stockley met Michael Winstanley, former Conservative councillor for Orrell and mayor of Wigan in 2010-11, to discuss the speed of traffic on Upholland Road, as well as Crank Road and Park Road.

They decided to organise a petition to call upon Wigan Council to meet them and Greater Manchester Police (GMP), to look at what further measures could be introduced to reduce speed and improve road safety.

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Upholland Road, Billinge

Mr Winstanley said: "I have been campaigning for many years for road safety improvements on Upholland Road and whilst I have been successful in getting the council to put in certain features such as road markings, signs and islands to help people cross the road, it hasn't been enough.

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"That is why I wanted to help local residents further in their efforts to get the council and GMP to take more action. I hope that the council will be willing to sit down with me and the residents to look at what can be done as a whole to make this road safer."

More than 500 signatures have been collected on the petition and it has now been handed to Orrell councillor Steven Evans, who will present it to Alison McKenzie-Folan, chief executive of Wigan Council.

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Coun Evans said: “I am extremely grateful to all the residents who have organised this petition. Both myself and Coun Marjorie Clayton share the concerns of the local community and are calling for action from the local authority and GMP.”

A council spokesman said: “Road safety is really important to us at Wigan Council and, following reports, we have implemented traffic calming measures on Upholland Road, such as road markings, signs and pedestrian refuge island.

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“The responsibility for carrying enforcement action for speeding or dangerous driving offences lies with Greater Manchester Police and incidences of persistent speeding observed by residents should be reported directly to [email protected] or via www.gmp.police.uk/ro/report/rti/rti-b/report-a-road-traffic-incident.”

A police spokesman said: “Road safety is a priority for GMP and we regularly run operations on the transport network. However, permanent road safety measures, eg speed cameras and speed bumps, are in the council’s gift.”