Complaints over busway disruption

A guided busway in operation
A guided busway in operation
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AN OPPOSITION councillor says he has been bombarded with calls from residents angry about the guided busway work in Tyldesley.

Local Lib-Dem Coun Paul Valentine says he has received around a dozen complaints since the major project to bring the controversial public transport network through the town centre began.

The gripes included noise, disruption for businesses and letters sent out last week by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) saying construction could continue until 10pm and threatening weekend work too.

The biggest problems are in Hough Lane, which will be closed for five months between April and September to allow gas pipes to be replaced with ones suitable to have the guided buses running over them, and Well Lane, which trucks accessing the construction site will have to use.

Coun Valentine said: “All the complaints seem to be on a common theme, which is that the building work is a nuisance. Town centre traders feel business has been affected, but the biggest issue is the disruption on Hough Lane. There’s very few ways in and out of Tyldesley and residents thought it would be quiet there.

“TfGM has said there could be 25 to 30 trucks per day on Well Street, which is relatively small, as the work progresses, so sadly I think residents can expect gridlock for some time to come.

“It’s uncalled for, and the threat of weekend work as well is quite unfair to residents who are putting up with works as it is. You can hear the noise of it quite a way around.

“The experts stated there would be a negligible impact, but residents and visitors to Tyldesley have had enough of the extra congestion, noise, lost business and dirty roads surrounding the sites.”

The Hough Lane works will see National Grid engineers replace a high-pressure mains pipe located next to the bridge, although gas supplies will remain unaffected and pedestrians and dismounted cyclists will be able to cross the bridge. Work is also well under way modifying routes through the centre of Tyldesley to accommodate the guided busway.

TfGM has responded by saying it is doing all it can to reduce the effect on nearby households and reiterating the benefits it believes the busway, which is set to be finished by 2015, will bring.

Head of programme management Peter Boulton said: “The busway will deliver wide-ranging transport and economic benefits for the towns it serves. We are committed to making sure that work has as little impact as is possible for such a major construction project. Unfortunately, there will be times when residents are inconvenienced and we apologise for this.

“Our dedicated team is always available to meet with householders and business owners to discuss any concerns, investigate further and look for solutions.”

A public surgery is held every Wednesday morning at Balfour Beatty’s offices at the Cotton Mill on Mather Lane in Leigh.