consultation has launched on plans to improve traffic capacity and provide new walking and cycling facilities at a major Wigan junction.
Residents are being asked to give their views on proposed changes to the Smithy Brook Road junction, which is where the A49 and M58 link roads will converge when complete.
In addition to alleviating congestion and enabling quicker east-west connections, the improvements will support the Greater Manchester Bee Network by creating better walking and cycling facilities.
Leader of Wigan Council David Molyneux said: “When the link roads are complete, motorists will benefit from high-quality road infrastructure and faster journey times, which helps us to position Wigan Borough as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.
“As a result, Smithy Brook Road will become a major intersection, so it’s important that we make changes to this area so it is fit for purpose.
“It’s also a great opportunity to improve facilities for people travelling on foot and bike, so we can maintain and improve road safety for all users.”
The proposed improvements will:
– Provide better access to Wigan town centre and M6 and M58 motorways
– Enable quicker connections across the east and west of the borough
– Help to alleviate traffic congestion on key routes such as Ormskirk Road and Poolstock
– Create additional traffic lanes in both directions between Smithy Brook Road and the A49 link road roundabout
– Create an additional left turn lane on the A49 Warrington Road approach into Smithy Brook Road
– Improve pedestrian and cycle facilities at the junction, including toucan crossings and two-way segregated cycle lanes to aid connectivity and maintain road safety
The improvement scheme is expected to cost in the region of £1.4m and is being funded by a combination of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund and Growth Deal Minor Works Funding.
Coun Molyneux added: “Providing a sustainable travel network with cycling and walking routes that are reliable will give people more confidence to think differently about their travel options.
“Being open and transparent and giving local people the ability to comment on proposals in their areas is something that we work hard to deliver, so we urge as many people to get involved with the consultation so we can ensure this project is delivered in a way that residents are comfortable with.”
The ambitious plan to create cycling and walking routes across the city-region is fronted by Chris Boardman, the GM cycling and walking commissioner.
Chris Boardman, a former pro-cyclist and Olympic champion, said: “More people travelling on foot or by bike is a by-product of creating better places to live, work and socialise.
“This transformation of the Smithy Brook Road and Warrington Road junction will make life easier for people who want to be able to make local trips on foot or by bike, leaving the car at home.”
Responses will be compiled and updates will be uploaded to the council’s website after the consultation ends on 24 January 2020.
To give your views on the project, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/majorprojects.