A major link road that will ease congestion and improve access to the M6 and M58 was given the green light this afternoon.
Wigan Council’s elected members approved the M58 link road as the highly anticipated application went to planning committee.
The link road, which is part of the council’s wider regeneration plans for the borough, will connect junction 26 of the M6/M58 motorways with Wigan town centre, both alleviating congestion on local roads and providing an alternative route for those travelling in and out of the borough.
In line with Wigan Council’s commitment to generating economic growth and improving infrastructure, the M58 link road is part of wider plans for investment in the borough’s road network and will work hand in hand with the A49 link road, which will connect Warrington Road and Goose Green to Westwood Park and the town centre at Poolstock and Chapel Road junction.
The council is also working with neighbouring Bolton Council on a joint £132m bid to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to improve road connectivity across the borough.
An initial bid was successful at the first stage and more detailed plans are being developed through the second stage of the bidding process. If the bid is successful, nine more road projects will be delivered over the coming years, reducing congestion and enabling an estimated 12,000 new homes to be built – a priority set out in the council’s Deal for the Future.
Leader of the council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “We’re delighted that this scheme has been approved as it will provide a much easier route in, out and around the borough and will alleviate traffic on local roads, mainly Ormskirk Road, which is one of the busiest in the borough.
“By providing a high-spec road network, we can further Wigan Borough’s reputation as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.
“We know through talking to businesses and residents that they want better east-west connectivity in the borough and this link road is an important part in delivering that.
“Through investing in improved roads not only can we give people better access to jobs and opportunities, but we can continue to fulfil our promise to encourage more businesses to invest in the borough.”
Each of the council’s schemes aims to provide key transport links, better connectivity and faster journey times for commuters. The town hall has mitigated issues raised by members of the public by amending the application to include a number of conditions that will be beneficial for the local environment.
Councillor Molyneux added: “It is important to us that his project is suited to everybody. We have harnessed public opinion and thoughts to shape the application and are glad we have made headway.
“We’re committed to working with residents to make sure we’re able to provide a transport infrastructure fit for the future as this is crucial for the growth of our local economy.”
The link road will utilise an existing road, Leopold Street, and will mean building two new sections of road, connecting it to the motorway junction. The road will be a single carriageway with a speed limit of 30mph.
Funding for the scheme will come from a combination of sources including Greater Manchester Local Growth Deal funding. It is estimated that work could begin on site in 2019 and the road could be completed in 2020.
For more information, please visit www.wigan.gov.uk/m58linkroad.