Busway roadworks cause rush hour chaos

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ANGRY residents faced motoring misery due to roadworks in Tyldesley related to the Leigh Guided Busway.

Commuters faced long queues on Monday and Tuesday after temporary traffic lights appeared on Astley Street to allow last-minute work to be carried out on behalf of BT.

The road was already handling a high volume of traffic as Hough Lane is shut until September while National Grid engineers replace an old high-pressure gas pipe.

There is also more misery to come for drivers as it was confirmed the lights would not be gone for the Wednesday morning rush hour, with the road unlikely to be clear again before the afternoon.

Frustrated residents bombarded social media websites such as Twitter with comments to Wigan Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) on Tuesday, with one commuter saying it had taken 45 minutes to travel from the town centre to the East Lancs Road.

Other drivers reported needing 40 minutes to cover a 10-minute journey and covering just two miles in an hour on the morning school run.

The council apologised for the severe disruption but said it could not stop the work taking place as it had been told it was unavoidable.

The local authority said it will restrict work on the official diversion route around the guided busway construction sites this summer, but this did not include Astley Street.

Assistant director for infrastructure Mark Tilley said: “I’d like to apologise to motorists for the difficult traffic conditions seen in Tyldesley since Monday. The problems are a result of work taking place by TfGM to construct the Leigh Guided Busway.

“We’ve been in constant contact with TfGM since work started and our engineers have been on site and requested some changes which will hopefully alleviate some of the pressure.

“The work on Hough Lane is a major undertaking and will inevitably cause some traffic issues over the summer months. All I can do is apologise, reassure people we’re doing all we can to limit the disruption and ask them to bear with us.

“The problems this week have not been helped by further unavoidable work on the busway taking place on Astley Street. The timing of this is unfortunate. The council was only informed about this additional work at the last moment and our powers to prevent it are limited.”