IN the 1960s the then Golborne Urban District Council wrote to the government expressing the desperate need for a bypass for the area due to severe congestion.

Between the early 1980s and 1990s the middle section of the Atherleigh Way was constructed between Atherton and the local authority boundary with Warrington, however, originally it was meant to go up to Bolton to Chequerbent roundabout and down to Junction 22 of the M6 but for over 30 years the bypass has never been finished.

As regular readers of the Journal will know, it has been a long standing ambition of mine and one of my election pledges to my constituents to do all I can to get the bypass completed. As regular drivers in the area will know the gridlock most mornings can be a nightmare and standing traffic costs not just time and money, but is also a heavy polluter. At Lane Head the poor air quality can reach levels worse than parts of central London at times. I’m pleased to report that it now looks like we are making tangible progress on this important issue.

I met with representatives of Wigan, Warrington and St Helens Councils and the Greater Manchester Mayor to find a way to progress this issue, The proposals being brought forward have so far been regarding the completion of the Southern section (JNC22) but we are also exploring the completion of the northern section as well. We are currently in the exploratory phase to decide the precise route, but an agreement in principle has been reached to bring forward these proposals.

Since this meeting I have met with the Greater Manchester Mayor and rail minister Huw Merriman, who deals with all transport issues regarding devolved mayoralties, to discuss both this proposal and the finalisation of plans to deliver Golborne station. I am pleased to say that the meeting with transport minister Huw Merriman was extremely productive. With regards to both the Atherleigh Way and Golborne station, no serious obstacles were identified to bringing forward bids for both projects at this stage.

It was agreed that the final proposals for Golborne and initial proposals for the completion of the Atherleigh Way would be brought forward provisionally later this year.

It has been an incredibly long haul to get to this stage with both projects, but as my constituents know from my campaign against HS2, I am nothing, if not persistent when it comes to fighting for our community