WEEKS of campaigning by residents has resulted in work on the guided busway in Tyldesley Market Square being postponed.

Work was due to begin yesterday, Monday, but the contractors were stood down by Transport for Greater Manchester following a public meeting on Saturday.

Nearly 600 residents attended the meeting which was hosted by Leigh MP Andy Burnham to have their say on the closure of Astley Street and to ask TfGM, Balfour Beatty and and Wigan Council their questions concerning the busway.

But overwhelming opposition to plans to rip up Tyldesley Market Square to allow buses from Atherton to connect to the busway led Peter Boulton from TfGM to stand down the contractors in order to further consult residents.

Residents also expressed their wishes for a single lane closure of Astley Street for 22 weeks along with three weeks of full closure for essential United Utilities work instead of the original 18-week full closure.

They also voted with many preferring for the traffic to flow towards the East Lancs instead of into Tyldesley town centre.

Gavin Clements, a Tyldesley resident who is opposed to the plan, said: "We are all delighted with the result of the meeting. It is what we were hoping for - we didn't think we would get it though.

"We knew they wouldn't just scrap the it because that's not feasible but we were asking them for another consultation so that more people can have a say.

"And if they all say yes at least it has been done properly and everyone is aware of the plans."

Mr Burnham said that he was glad the meeting had been held even if it had been difficult at times.

He said: “People are facing major disruption to their lives and I understand how people feel.

“I think some important concerns were raised at the meeting and we have found a common ground in order to make the best of it going forward.

“I think the main point that came from the meeting was the suspension of the work in Tyldesley town centre for a further consultation.

“I have already spoken to the council about that and it is in hand.

“The second thing to take away was the decision over Astley Street which I don’t think was completely conclusive but we were looking at a long closure.

“I must give the councillor some credit here because option one was a request from them.”

Mr Burnham also vowed at the meeting to conduct a wider review of the traffic in Tyldesley as it is ‘clearly not working as it is’.

Other issues raised at the meeting by residents ranged from safety concerns for schoolchildren crossing the busway and for fire engines getting up Astley Street to compensation for struggling business owners and the lack of progress on the busway.