Two major schemes to help alleviate traffic around Lowton and Golborne have been approved by Wigan Council this week.
The projects will see Stone Cross Lane (at the junction with the East Lancs Road) widenened and an additional left turn lane onto Newton Road added to the A580, with the aim of reducing congestion issues locally.
Both highways schemes were among a number of options that local people were consulted on in early 2021, when the council asked us how best to spend some of the ‘Section 106’ monies that they have receieved from local housebuilders.
At the time, the possibility of replacing Golborne roundabout with a traffic signal controlled junction was also suggested, but the council says its subsequent research showed that this might have actually increased congestion in the mornings.
The two road schemes that Wigan Council now hopes to proceed with are:
Adding a new left turn lane from A580 to Newton Rd
The concil’s traffic modelling predicts that traffic congestion will be reduced significantly in both morning and afternoon rush hours by this addition. It will allow traffic travelling from Leigh / Manchester to more easily turn left at Lane Head, in order to travel along Newton Road towards Newton-le-Willows. This would reduce the build up of traffic on the A580 as motorists queue at the lights.
However, the council says it does recognise concerns that this easier left turn might lead to more vehicles choosing to use Winwick Lane, but says that modelling work undertaken by Transport for Greater Manchester found this would not be a significant increase.
Widening Stone Cross Lane North to three lanes at its junction with the A580
This would make it easier for traffic to leave Lowton at the Stone Cross Industrial Park by adding an additional lane. The council’s traffic modelling predicts that congestion will be reduced in both peak periods, and significantly in the afternoon peak.
The plans also include the addition of controlled pedestrian/cycle crossing facilities on the Stone Cross
Lane arm of the junction to improve road safety.
Where is the funding coming from?
The money for these highway schemes is coming from the Section 106 monies paid to the council by local housing developers, as part of the planning process. This includes contributions from Wainhomes at Heathfields, Bloor Homes at Lowton Heath and Taylor Wimpey at Rothwells Farm.
In total, our towns have secured £8.6m from this ‘Section 106’ money. £1.9m of this will be used for education and community provision, and £6.7m on infrastructure.
The cash is available to spend on community projects and local improvement works as a result of house building in the area.
But a bypass remains off the agenda
During the consultation period in 2021, the council acknowledged that what many residents actually wanted was a bypass, allowing passing traffic to avoid travelling through the area in the first place.
But it said that the bypass option was unaffordable, costing more than £8m, and involve a complex planning process involving two neighbouring local authorities.
However, Wigan Council did say that the option remained under consideration.
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