TRANSPORT for Greater Manchester has apologised to residents over the closure of a main road in Tyldesley.

As reported previously in the Journal, part of Hough Lane will be closed to vehicles from April 22 to September 26 while a high pressure gas main is replaced by the National Grid because the current pipe will not support the anticipated weight of the guided busway being built above it.

Tyldesley Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Valentine said he has raised several queries with TfGM following the announcement earlier this month.

"Residents are rightly upset with TfGM's announcement," he said.

"You have to wonder who the guided bus scheme is really benefiting.

"I take no pleasure in saying I expect more residents, businesses and visitors to Tyldesley to be seriously put out by the busway works."

Peter Boulton, Transport for Greater Manchester's head of programme management, said the firm was committed to making sure the busway work had as little impact as possible for such a major project.

"Unfortunately, there will be times when residents are inconvenienced and we apologise for this," he said.

"National Grid has a nationwide gas main pipes replacement programme and we have worked with them so that they can advance the Hough Lane work.

"This will minimise any future disruption as this pipe would eventually have required replacement regardless of the busway.

"We have tried to minimise disruption as much as possible in selecting the preferred option for the work.

"TfGM is also working with National Grid and Balfour Beatty to ensure these works are completed in the shortest time possible, while ensuring the safety of both the public and staff."