ROADWORKS are likely to cause disruption in Leigh and Atherton town centre from Monday as the main work on the Leigh-Ellenbrook Guided Busway begins.

The beginning of the main construction of the busway in the two town centres on Monday has been hailed as a ‘huge step forward’ but many residents and opposition councillors have raised their concerns about the scheme.

Work in Leigh will focus on Spinning Jenny Way and will finish in November while the affected roads in Atherton are Mealhouse Lane, Alma Street, Flapper Fold Lane, St John Street, Bolton Road and Water Street.

The work in Atherton will last until October when work will begin in Tyldesley town centre.

The Leader of Wigan Council Lord Peter Smith said: “I think it’s a huge step forward that the main work on the busway scheme is about to start.

“The towns have a foot in the future. Very soon the busway will be up and running, opening up big opportunities for local people and the local area.”

The busway will offer a minimum of four buses an hour from Leigh and Atherton to Manchester city centre during the day on Mondays through to Saturdays with journey times expected to be cut to less than 50 minutes.

WIN Clr Norman Bradbury has been opposed to the scheme from the beginning. He said: “The guided busway has never been wanted by anybody other than the Labour Group on Wigan Council and some of their misguided supporters.

"Journeys from Atherton using the busway will still have to go down Tyldesley Road behind the congestion at peak periods and then have to join the guided section of the busway at Tyldesley only to leave it again at Ellenbrook - what a farce."

The council is warning the public that there will be some disruption in the areas in the next few months but says steps have been taken to keep this disruption to a minimum.

Traffic management will change throughout the work and updates will be provided on the council’s roadworks bulletin at