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Wigan road barrier lifted temporarily

The barrier on Walthew House Lane
The barrier on Walthew House Lane

A contentious barrier has been put back in place after dismayed residents saw it lifted for HGVs - for now.

Last month Wigan Council’s regulation committee voted to remove the barrier on Walthew House Lane to form a new access route to Martland Mill Business Park.

Read more: Angry councillors set to appeal

Work was expected to be done before the road was adopted and opened.

But last Wednesday morning residents contacted Pemberton councillor Paul Prescott to report the barrier was being lifted so HGVs could drive through.

Coun Prescott contacted the council’s highways department and found out the barrier was not being removed by the council at that time.

He said the council had spoken to those currently responsible for the barrier.

Coun Prescott said: “I understand they have given an undertaking not to lift the barrier again until such time as the local authority is ready to adopt it.”

The route was created in 1996 through a planning agreement with bosses at the adjacent Heinz factory.

A Heinz spokesman said: “The barrier remains locked at this time. We understand that the council have some civil works to be completed and will wait for their further guidance.”

Supporters of the barrier being removed say opening the link road will cut the number of HGVs travelling through Kitt Green and Marsh Green - areas with several schools .

People living close to Walthew House Lane raised safety concerns about HGV drivers using residential streets to reverse once they had reached the barrier.

However, residents in Orrell, which is on a through-route from the M6/M58 interchange, said it will add to congestion in the area.

One resident told the Observer: “It will cause more traffic jams - cars will take a short cut through Broxton Avenue which is already always gridlocked, traffic travelling along Spring Road will be queuing back to the motorway bridge on a regular basis and has already had double yellow lines put on one side of the road which is restricting parking for residents, and those young couples who bought houses next to the barrier and had searches done before buying those houses will now presumably be able to claim off someone for false information, since they were evidently told that the barrier was staying put.”