A MAJOR road will remain closed as work on the guided busway continues in Tyldesley.

Hough Lane was due to be reopened later this month but Transport for Greater Manchester announced this week that it will remain closed to vehicles until December.

The road was closed in April to allow National Grid to replace the high pressure gas mains pipe next to the bridge and this work has now been completed.

But work to construct guided busway crossing points at key road junctions in Tyldesley will start this month and the alternative would be to reopen Hough Lane but using temporary traffic signals to control two-way traffic. according to TfGM.

This would mean that work would carry on for eight weeks longer - until February 2015 – then if work is carried out under an extended full closure.

The lane restrictions would have to remain in place over the Christmas period and would overlap with the start of construction for the Astley Street busway crossing point, meaning that a single lane contraflow would be in place on both junctions into February.

Peter Boulton, TfGM’s head of programme management services, said: “We fully appreciate that the continued closure of Hough Lane will be disappointing to residents and it is not a decision that has been taken lightly.

“We’ve chosen this option as it will be much less disruptive than partially reopening Hough Lane for a much longer period of time. Keeping a good flow of traffic on Manchester Road and Sale Lane was the key consideration in making this decision.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but assure residents that at every step of the project we are doing our best to minimise disruption.”

TfGM is now writing to residents to let them know.

Leader of Wigan Council, Lord Peter Smith, said: “I know some people may find the extended closure of Hough Lane frustrating. I’d ask residents to bear with us. Everything possible is being done to keep disruption to a minimum and this is the best option in the long-term.”

There will be a footway available at all times during the work, allowing pedestrians and dismounted cyclists to continue to use the route.

A full road closure will be required on Astley Street in January 2015 for approximately five months to enable construction of the busway crossing point.