Green light for busway masterplan

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A PUBLIC transport scheme has received the go ahead despite protests.

A number of councillors had asked for the Transport For Greater Manchester (TfGM) Leigh Guided Busway, linking the borough to central Manchester, to be reviewed. But the Wigan Council’s Confident Places Scrutiny Committee voted against the move.

Tyldesley councillor Paul Valentine told the meeting that he believed there were still safety concerns and that the initial consultation was flawed.

He said: “I feel that not all of the businesses in Tyldesley were consulted adequately on the scheme. They weren’t told exactly what the plans were and that is an actual fact.

“There is also the safety aspect with both pedestrians and drivers being affected by additional traffic controls. The impact on traffic has not been adequately accounted for and I feel that some of these issues have just been brushed aside.

“Also there will be massive upset to the historic town centre. Tyldesley is a tight community and people there are the bread and butter of the town therefore they must be the first and most important factor to be considered within the scheme.”

He was also backed by Conservative Coun James Grundy and Standish Independent Coun Gareth Fairhurst.

Bosses from TfGM defended the £78m scheme which aims to provide a faster, more efficient bus service for users. They say it will boost employment as well as access to education and healthcare, while bringing investment to the area.

A TfGM spokesman said: “We have done extensive traffic modelling and there wouldn’t be a substantial increase and we don’t consider them to be significant delays.

“We will continue to work for the benefit of the town and transport system and we are hoping to enhance all of the area’s amenities.”

Transport strategy manager Emma Barton said: “The improvements which are being made will enable people to travel more easily with newer, faster and more frequent services. The changes will reduce journey time and improve the public’s safety.”