A GROUP of business owners based in Tyldesley met up on Monday evening to discuss plans to boost trade in the town centre.

Companies in the town have suffered a reduction in sales recently which they believe has been caused by a number of factors.

In a meeting at Pam Ties on Lime Street, owners outlined their concerns about the shortage of car parking spaces for shoppers and the lack of connectivity from Astley and Shakerley to the town centre.

The three ward councillors Joanne Marshall, Nazia Rehman and Stephen Hellier were present at the meeting along with Wigan Council highways officer Stuart Dauber.

Owners aired their frustrations about commuters travelling into Manchester via the guided busway are using car parks across the town and making it difficult for people who are visiting the centre.

It was strongly agreed that the car park at the Astley Street stop of the busway is not large enough and is having an adverse effect on Tyldesley.

Bosses also pointed out that drivers who leave their vehicles in car parks which exceed the time restrictions are not facing enforcement action.

The adjustment of parking bays around the town centre were discussed to improve accessibility as well.

With regards to bus routes, the meeting heard from Cllr Marshall about the reason why a bus route will no longer transport residents from Shakerley to Tyldesley.

The bus operator Diamond have ruled the 683 service was adding up to 20 minutes on to the journey when Shakerley was included and it was serving around 15 customers a day.

Owners argued that there should be a route incorporating Shakerley, Tyldesley, Astley and Leigh.

The cleanliness of the town is also a bone of contention for traders.

There is one full time council staff member tasked with cleaning up the town centre but he must also cover other areas which has limited his time carrying out duties there.

Other matters on the agenda include the state of the Marklands building on the corner of Elliott Street and Stanley Street which was in danger of collapsing in July.

Although the site was made safe by officials from the local authority, shop owners expressed their frustration on the time it has taken for repair work to take place on the privately-owned building.

Councillors have been asked to provide answers to owners' queries in four weeks.