Wigan Traffic Enginner: closes file on Millers Lane closure. he’s self satisfied.

For residents of Platt Bridge, living on the estates adjacent to Millers Lane.

I have received a letter from Mr Terry Dunn (Director-Environment), via our MP, Yvonne Vofargue, informing me that the consequence of closing Millers Lane is that traffic flow on Platt Street has improved, reducing the rat-running through the estate and improving road safety and that he has no intention of taking further action.

Apparently journey times between Wigan an Abram, for instance, have improved by 13 seconds.

I’m sure road users will be duly grateful and I’m sure that residents concerned about the access, via Sherwood Crescent, will understand that he has no control over how motorists approach the roundabout and can not see any problem with the parking available to visitors to Belong village.

I will post this, along with his letter on my blog (wiganshale.wordpress.com) along with my apologies for ever doubting Wigan’s Traffic Engineer’s wisdom: At least until there has been a serious accident at the Sherwood Crescent roundabout.

Dear Ms Fovargue

I refer to your letter dated 3rd July 2012 regarding Mr Shale’s concern over the closure of Millers Lane, Platt Bridge. I trust you find the following advice helpful.

The section of the A573/A58 between the A49 and Bickershaw Lane was identified as one of the 31 routes to be assessed as part of the Strategic Transport Route Assessment Plan (STRAP) with the aim of improving journey times into and out of the town centre.

As part of this assessment, the junction at Warrington Road and Millers Lane was identified as one of the causes of congestion along the route due to the right turning vehicles into Millers Lane.

The prohibition of driving on Millers Lane was implemented on 2nd August 2011 with the aim of reducing the journey times along the A573/A58 Warrington Road, improving road safety and reducing the amount of through routing vehicles through the housing estate.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have supplied Trafficmaster data for the

31 identified routes which provides journey time rates for thousands of vehicular trips along each of the routes.

Trafficmaster data was collected between September to November 2010 before the scheme was introduced along the A573/A58 from the A49 Riverway junction to the Bickershaw Lane junction, which is a 2.6 mile route. The overall average journey time rate (time taken to drive 1 mile along route) for both directions along the route was 4 minutes and 5 seconds.

Please reply to Terry Dunn (Director – Environment)

Wigan Council, Places Directorate: Economy, Waste and Infrastructure, PO Box 100, Wigan, WN1 3DS.

Phone: (01942) 489110   E-mail: t.dunn@wigan.gov.uk   www.wigan.gov.uk

Trafficmaster data was collected between September to November 2011 after the scheme was introduced along the same route. The overall average journey time rate for both directions along the route was 3 minutes and 52 seconds, an improvement of 13 seconds. The greatest improvement in journey times was travelling from Wigan to Abram in the pm peak. The journey time was 13 minutes and 33 seconds to travel the 2.6 mile route before the scheme was introduced and 12 minutes and 39 seconds after which is an improvement of 54 seconds. The above data clearly shows that the journey times along the A573/A58 have improved since the prohibition of driving on Millers Lane was introduced.

There had been three recorded injury accidents at the A573 Walthew Lane/A58

Liverpool Road/Sherwood Crescent roundabout in the three year period before the scheme was introduced. All the accidents resulted in slight injuries. Since the scheme has been introduced, there have been no personal injury accidents recorded (data up to 31St January 2012).

There were six recorded injury accidents at the junction of Warrington Road/Millers Lane in the three year period before the scheme was introduced. All the accidents resulted in slight injuries and four of the accidents involved vehicles turning at the junction.

There has been one recorded injury accident at the Warrington Road/Millers Lane junction since the scheme was introduced. The accident resulted from vehicle 1 travelling north on Warrington Road slowing down to let vehicle 2 out from Millers Lane and vehicle 3 travelling north on Warrington Road overtook vehicle 1 and collided with vehicle 2 resulting in slight injuries.

Manual traffic surveys undertaken both before and after the schemes implementation show that the number of vehicles entering/exiting Sherwood Crescent from the roundabout have increased significantly since it was introduced, which has also improved the efficiency of the roundabout as the flows on all the arms are more balanced.

An origin and destination survey undertaken on access/egress points throughout the housing estate show that the numbers of through-routing vehicles has significantly reduced since the scheme was introduced.

As part of the post-scheme monitoring, we have identified the need to introduce lane direction markings on the carriageway and on traffic signs to indicate to motorists travelling along Liverpool Road (A58) which lane they should be in as they approach Walthew Lane.

With regard to motorists approaching the roundabout not indicating their direction, this is due to driver behaviour and is a common occurrence at all junctions which we cannot legislate for in the design process.

As can be seen from the above information, the scheme has been effective in improving journey times along the A573/A58 Warrington Road, improving road safety and reducing the rat-running through the housing estate and we do not, therefore, at the present time, other than the additional markings, intend to take any further action in this area.

I am sorry if this is not the response Mr Shale would be hoping for but I trust the above information is helpful.

Yours sincerely

Terry Dunn

Director – Environment

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