There’s a reason why Wigan is the worst city for dependency on the car

Wigan Council is very strongly anti-motorist but News that “the worst city for dependency on the car is Wigan”  is not a consequence of that   (http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/28-aug-car-dependency-scorecard) .

It’s the total ineptitude of an entrenched clique running the Council  since its inception in 1974.

(I can’t find details of the previous Wigan Council but I would suspect that it would have been Labour from the early 1920’s).

Although they have had, probably, nearly a century to sort out the road system, it’s still medieval, relying on the radial network  of links to other towns, with hardly any attempt to create routes avoiding the Town centre.

As these roads are constricted in many places by the early railway and canal network, these arterial roads are, in too many places, no wider than in the Victorian age.

Old mine workings surround the town, but instead of using the land to lay bypasses, successive Labour and New Labour Councils have turned the flashes, which were formed, into either housing estates, or wildlife reserves.

Instead of laying aside land, as it became available, to become ring roads, they allowed more and more lucrative development, ignoring the needs for an infrastructure and throttling the Town’s commerce.

To compound the short-sightedness of this approach they have blocked off side roads and “rat-runs”, concentrating traffic onto these Victorian access roads and whacked large car-parking charges on the small patches of land left available (after hiving off those neeeded for Councillor’s and Council Officer’s, who all drive)

These roads are bad during peak travel times but are ridiculously slower, when roadworks are needed; even if that roadwork consists of a single white van man replacing window frames.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a specialist at Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

In my younger days, I would have walked there but then the young and fit rarely need to visit specialists on a regular basis.

If I hadn’t had to scrap my car, I’d have driven there and paid for parking.

Tomorrow I’ll take two buses: a 15 minute journey into Wigan Town Centre, a 5mins wait and an 8mins bus to the RAEI, That’s what the travelline says.

But this is late Summer and roadworks abound and that 15 minute journey has a road works. a long one.

In addition the journey will necessitate catching the tag end of the rush hour, so to avoid missing my connection I will have to catch a much earlier bus and wait around for the second one.

At least it’s not Winter and I won’t be trudging through slush to get to the Hospital.

I’ll have to save my pennies and become a motorist again because these roads are too narrow for safe cycling (the Council’s option for whinging car owners), even if I was fit enough to ride a bike.

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