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Guided buses will cause road chaos in Tyldesley says councillor
2:20pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
WORK on the Leigh Guided Busway has stepped up a gear but plans to route buses across Tyldesley Market Square have been slammed as "crazy".
Tyldesley Councillor Robert Bleakley says plans that could gridlock Tyldesley and ruin the town's only pedestrian sanctuary are being railroaded through.
But Transport for Greater Manchester said no significant increase in congestion is predicted within Tyldesley town centre.
"I'm amazed that residents' views have basically been ignored," said Clr Bleakley.
"This has been Wigan Council's preferred option all along so why did they hold public consultations?"
Town centre trader Rick Toner, said he supported the busway idea, but felt opening up Stanley Street to buses from Atherton would create chaos.
He said: "Congestion in town is bad but just imagine what it will be like with traffic lights allowing buses across Elliott Street?"
He also had concerns about increased parking demand from park and ride commuters, road safety aspects and the loss of space on the square for community events.
TfGM's plans to fell two mature trees on land off Wareing Street, Tyldesley have angered locals.
Bookmaker Irene Lummis said tree-felling work near her Wareing Street home had been done but since then two trees had been earmarked for the chop.
"They are big trees, one an oak, that are two yards from my home and 25 yards from the busway. They said they needed to move them to make a pathway.
"Last year lorries doing work on the route came down our street rather than use the designated access from Astley Street. We are concerned that this will happen again.
A TfGM spokesman said: “We have spoken to dozens of residents - including Mrs Lummis - to discuss the project and address any concerns that might exist.
“The removal of trees for the busway is strictly done as is necessary and according to the plans we have developed.
“We aim to minimise the amount of trees taken down and in compensation we have pledged to create a community woodland, close to Higher Folds, of around 40,000 trees in an initiative supported by the Forestry Commission.
“As part of Bus Priority, we have also undertaken extensive traffic modelling and research and no significant increase in congestion is predicted within Tyldesley town centre.
“Any arising parking issues in the vicinity of the Market Square will be addressed in conjunction with Wigan Council as part of the development of the scheme.”