Leigh bridge closure causing chaos

The bridge on Plank Lane
The bridge on Plank Lane
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Residents have been queuing up to voice their frustration at the traffic chaos being caused by the closure of a busy bridge.

A road closure has been in place since January 29 at the Plank Lane lift bridge, which connects Leigh to Lowton over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

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The bridge and footpath are set to remain closed until February 16 in order to allow repairs to the hydraulic power unit and its enclosure, along with new fencing and signage upgrades.

But while steps have been taken to minimise disruption around the single-lane bridge - with work only being carried out between 8am and 4pm - the work has still caused significant traffic issues for local residents, many of whom rely on the crossing to get to work and to drop off their children at school.

One resident Marco Naylor posted online: “Leigh is at a stand still due to Plank Lane swing bridge being closed for four weeks.

“I am getting the kids in school one hour late, parents ringing giving grief. What happens now?”

Geraldine McGrath posted: “I got stuck going to work from Stout Street. It took me 15 minutes just to get to the junction, normally a two minute journey.”

David Parr, who often uses the bridge to visit his daughter who lives on the Wilkinson Park Drive housing development, right behind Plank Lane, said the bridge works were adding hours to his daily travels.

“They should have shut it during school holidays or something, a time when no one is using the road,” he said.

“It’s taking over an hour just to get out into Leigh because the traffic is that bad, as it’s all being routed one way.”

“My son goes to Golborne High School, which is on the other side of the lift bridge. To pick him up the other day, it took one hour and 15 minutes. It’s a five minute job when the bridge is open.”

The closure has also caused disruption on other roads in Leigh due to the amount of cars having to take a diversion.

Anjela Riley added: “It’s taken me 40 minutes to get from Hill Crest (Avenue) to Hulme Road! It was backed up to the Tamar pub by 8am.”

However, one resident suggested an idea to reduce the regular amount of traffic going over the bridge, which could in turn reduce the amount of repairs being needed.

The closure will remain in place until 4pm on Friday, February 16.