Call for road alterations

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Campaigners calling for a town centre pedestrian zone to be scrapped and one-way streets changed have handed in a petition to Wigan Council.

More than 1,000 people signed the document prepared by Atherton Business Partnership and the Atherton Residents’ Association calling for the town centre to be opened up to traffic.

The campaigners say the current one-way system directs would-be shoppers away from the town centre rather than encouraging them to visit Atherton’s businesses and stores.

They are also calling for a re-think on the decision to bar cars from certain roads in the town centre throughout the day, saying it is also hindering businesses and does little to improve pedestrian safety as the route is still open to buses and vans making deliveries.

Representatives of the business partnership and residents’ association visited Wigan town hall to present the petition, which is addressed to local authority chief executive Donna Hall, on Thursday.

Atherton Business Partnership chair Norman Bradbury said: “As soon as the pedestrianised zone was put in, the town centre started to lose business and it has never picked up.

“They want through traffic so people know the shops are actually there and 20-minute parking to be introduced so people can nip to the stores to get what they need.

“They also want the one-way system revisited so traffic can go back through the town. At the moment you go to Tesco and are then immediately directed out of town.”

Wigan Council says it is aware of the petition and the ideas contained in it and has said it will work with residents and businesses to boost the town centre. Karl Battersby, director of economy and environment, said: “We are aware of the issues and suggestions raised. Prior to the receipt of the petition, I had already confirmed to the group that we would be looking at their suggestions in detail.”