ROADWORKS in Tyldesley are causing long delays and misery for drivers.

Hough Lane has been closed for just a week into the five months it will take for a gas main to be replaced as part of the guided busway works.

But drivers have faced even longer delays as BT carry out further roadworks, meaning temporary traffic lights have been in operation on Astley Street since Monday.

Residents have taken to social media to vent their frustration and complain about two hour school runs.

Reader John Gledhill said: “Who in their right mind, came up with the idea of allowing other roadworks to take place during the closure of Hough Lane bridge.

“It's bad enough, that Elliott Street in Tyldesley was narrowed some time ago now but there have been road works on Elliott Street since the bridge was closed and now there are temporary traffic lights on Astley Street causing untold misery to many people.”

Hough Lane will be closed to traffic until September while the National Grid replace a gas pipe as part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s guided busway works but the temporary traffic lights should be removed from Astley Street tomorrow, Wednesday, afternoon.

A spokesman for TfGM said: “We apologise for the delays experienced by some drivers in the Tyldesley area this week.

"As soon as we became aware of the extent of the problem the utilities contractor made some changes to the temporary traffic light signals on Astley Street to improve the flow of traffic.

“We are working with the contractor to minimise the length of time that the traffic lights on Astley Street will be in place. Initially this work was planned to take up to five days and we are hopeful that this will be reduced.

“For a project of this scale some disruption is inevitable and we are working hard with our partners to minimise this.

"We thank residents for their patience while these essential utility upgrade works take place in advance of the busway construction work.

"Ultimately, the area will reap all the benefits that go hand-in-hand with high quality transport links.”

The council has stressed that they have very limited powers to prevent untilities work taking place.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “The timing of this is unfortunate. The council was only informed about this additional work at the last moment.

“The council has limited powers when it comes to granting permission to organisations that want to carry out work on our road network. All we can do is try to influence the timings and mitigate any potential problems.”

Tyldesley Clr Paul Valentine has been contacted by residents who are angry that both works have been allowed to go ahead at the same time.

He said: “It only underlines the fragility of the road network around Tyldesley and Astley - this is likely to be a recurring problem and I'm not happy that the council states there is little they can do.”