Give your views on busy borough junction changes

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Riverway-Wigan
Riverway-Wigan

Residents and businesses are being asked to give their views on a junction improvement scheme in Wigan town centre.

Wigan Council will launch a consultation on Monday 22 February asking for local people to submit their views on changes to the Riverway ring road, which would address current difficulties for pedestrians who cross the road at the Darlington Street / King Street junction.

As part of the Greater Manchester Bee Network project, the local authority proposes to widen existing footpaths and install new crossing facilities on all sections of the notoriously busy junction at Darlington Street.

Leader of the council and cabinet member for economy and regeneration, Coun David Molyneux said: “The scheme is predominantly pedestrian improvements, though it does address congestion and air quality while the proposed pavement widening, and additional crossing points will improve safety allowing pedestrians to easily travel in and out of the town centre.”

The scheme will link to other cycling and walking routes nearby and will complement the pending Road to Wigan Pier changes on the other side of the town centre. Work in this area of the town centre is due to commence in the spring.

Coun Molyneux added: “Making changes to our road network in this way not only benefits people who already walk or cycle their daily journeys but it could encourage those new to these types of exercise to leave the car at home and try a new way of travelling.

“Ensuring our roads, pavements and footpaths are fit for purpose is even more important during a time when people are making it a priority to exercise outdoors. We’re committed to keeping our communities safe and able to social distance while making local journeys by foot or cycle and the improvements suggested will aid with that.

“The plans will also have benefits to motorists as traffic flow will be much better, leading to less congestion and quicker journey times.”

The main changes include:

  • Widening existing footways
  • Installation of pedestrian crossings
  • Carriageway resurfacing
  • Reducing the entrance to King Street to one lane for motorists

Figures attained from Transport for Greater Manchester show that throughout the coronavirus pandemic, journeys by foot and bike have increased with cycling and walking, reaching a peak mode-share of 33 per cent of all journeys in the city-region.

The £1.3m scheme will be funded through the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and forms part of the Bee Network – the wider walking and cycling plan for the city-region that aims to create the largest cycling and walking network in the UK.

The consultation will last for four weeks, closing on 19 March. To give your views on the plans, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/majorprojects and click ‘see our proposed schemes’.