Thursday, 6 November 2014

Remembrance Day Potentially Blighted by a Misguided Busway

Every year for many years now, Scouts, Guides, Beavers, ex-servicemen and the general populace around Tyldesley, Astley and the surrounding area, have gathered in the market square of Tyldesley. It is always a little chaotic but organised chaos. Everyone eventually becomes organised, including the brass bands which add greatly to the pomp and ceremony of our remembering those that gave their lives for us.

No matter what the weather, they would all march to the Cenotaph situated in Tyldesley Cemetery, down Hough Lane. Wreaths placed, sing hymns and songs, prayers, then walk back to Tyldesley Square. The ceremony is always poignant and I, as  everyone else, will wear our poppies with pride. Frequently they have done this journey in the rain but this year is going to be more difficult unless a miracle has happened. The route across the area where the railway bridge used to situate on Hough Lane when I visited on Tuesday afternoon the 4th of November 2014, looked dreadful.

Above are photographs of Hough Lane on late Tuesday afternoon the 4th of November, and bottom right is mud on the roadway. I slipped here, even though I was walking very carefully. Now The local council has promised that this will be improved and widened for the Remembrance Parade on Sunday the 9th of November 2014. 

I would like to know how they have got away with the state of this pathway in the first place. Adults, children and older people must use this path daily now! Where are the risk assessments, what of Health & Safety? Balfour Beatty are considerate builders according to the credentials on their website. I would hardly call THIS considerate, or even remotely acceptable.

The parade is going to commence at the market square, but the state of the square has left everyone very disappointed and upset. In previous years flowers were in the flower beds, and although the square was a little jaded, it served it's purpose well. Generally in good repair, tidy and safe to traverse too.

The problems with the market square lies in the fact that Wigan Council, and local councillors pushed through a project which is known locally as, the misguidedbusway. We refer to the busway as this because there was, (and still is), overwhelming opposition to this busway ever being attempted. Part of this *plan* is for a bus to travel up Stanley Street, in front of the local Library and travel across the pedestrianised Market Square then turn in toward the oncoming traffic against the one way traffic. This will be by the use of traffic lights and the buses will have priority. 

There have been major problems since the local council in their wisdom introduced traffic calming on Elliott Street in Tyldesley. Although, this left the road users anything other than calm, livid is the word I would use. Traffic CURRENTLY  forms a queue along the main road towards Mosley Common and to the roundabout at the junction of Sale Lane, towards Little Hulton. This then trails  down to about half way towards Little Hulton itself. Now we are led to believe that this new additon of a bus travelling against the flow of traffic, therefore stopping traffic each time. Will NOT make the congestion any worse. Hmm well I haven't met anyone that lives locally that believes that for one minute. There is also the fact that there are usually school children, a great deal of them, travelling to and fro to the local schools, such as Fred Longworth High School and St George's Primary School. Currently they can walk along Elliott Street fairly safely. Now they are going to have to contend with a bus turning the wrong way down a one way street, after travelling directly in front of the local library.

Together with the fact that the estimated cost of the work to send the bus up Stanley Street stands at £75,000 and if they used another street , or even follow the one way system. The cost of changing a street so that traffic could travel a different way up it, was estimated at £750.

Parking will be lost in addition to this, and there is talk of restricting the time cars are able to park on the car park off Stanley Street. THIS will all impact on the businesses that are already losing trade whilst this shambles of a scheme continues to go ahead without at least listening to locals. THIS is foolishness of the highess order.

The busway has resulted in the decimation of the flora and fauna that has thrived there since the railway was taken out of commission. Locals have reported seeing foxes, bats, rabbits, birds, newts, squirrels and even deer. But no more. The area was stripped back to what you see below.

You can also see it in these aerial photos that Peter Boulton is so proud of.

THESE are photos that we, from Tyldesley are proud of. This is the disused railway line prior to the whole ecosystem that existed there, being removed.

The picture above is taken from a site where the photographer has documented in pictures the demise of the flora and fauna that was to be found along the old disused railway, and the quotation below accompanies this photograph

48, From a position to the north of the site where the old railway footbridge stood at the back of Lilford park. From this point northwards towards Tyldesley the trees are being cleared to around 30 yards or so either side of the old railway line with many more trees being removed than in the section towards Leigh. Why this is being done seems unclear at the moment unless they have plans for developing a park and ride facility with access from the end of Green lane?? 12/03/2013.!i=1666542150&k=WLdQgL8

I have to admit I got really upset looking at the devastation that has happened. Over and above anything I would have thought necessary, to be honest. 

But, apparently we should be grateful to the local councillors that supported this project, and grateful to Lord Peter Smith also. As this, was his *genius* idea. One that they want to carry out in other parts of the country, should Labour get back in power. This was reported only the other day in the news  whereby Ed Miliband has promised to allow local councils to deliver similar schemes across the UK. Andy Burnham is a big advocate for this scheme, and feels it will benefit us all.

Can you see why locals don't think ANY of this is beneficial. There isn't a successful guided busway in the country. Other areas are removing bus lanes as RESEARCH shows they CAUSE congestion, NOT prevent it!

Over 90% of the local population didn't want this busway in any shape or form although, alternatives such as a rail link off Mort lane, amongst other schemes MAY have been preferable. 

A survey of sorts was undertaken, and it is claimed 5000 leaflets were distributed within so many metres of the site on Astley Street! I, and others would like to see the proof that this quantity were delivered. The results of the survey showed overwhelming opposition to this scheme but this was disregarded out of hand.

This scheme has blighted the lives of people from Leigh to Ellenbrook then why were they not included in this *leaflet drop*. Weren't they entitled to an opinion?

Today in the news an article that upset a lot of people was about a resident in Leigh, and her plight due to work close to her home. The title of the article is Busway work puts home on a precipice

Ongoing is an online petition for a judicial review of the planning application for this ill thought out scheme. 

As many have no internet access there is also a paper version with additional signatures, of well over a thousand people too.

The local population are being treated like errant children, that don't know what is good for them. Yet, these same local population includes engineers and professionals that are quite capable of judging what is good, or not, for their own community. 

This scheme is being railroaded through whether we like it or not, but local people have been voicing concerns about how well suited these councillors, MP's etc are to fulfilling their obligations to the people that VOTED them in to power. Those people are just as capable of voting them OUT of power in the next elections. This whole debacle has left a sour taste in many local people's mouths. Maybe this area being a Labour stronghold's days are now numbered.

This is a comment made this morning on Enough is Enough Facebbopage

Richard ShortEnough is Enough. Stop the Traffic Chaos in our areaVery concerned to hear that the work on Tyldesley Square will commence on the 10/11/14. This will mean they be clearing the poppies and wreaths as soon as we leave and they will not be there for us to pay our respects on Armistice Day where many of us stop on the 11am for silence while we remember them. What will the contractors be doing with the poppies?

There is a meeting on the 8th of November Saturday at 12 noon at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, that will be attended by Andy Burnham, Wigan Council, TfGM and others.


LeighTown Hall will play host to the next full council meeting.
The meeting will take place at Leigh Town Hall, on Market Street, at 7pm on Wednesday the 12th of November 2014
This is open to the public AND an ideal opportunity for individuals to watch their heroes in action.
(That WAS sarcasm by the way!)



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