Householders and drivers have seen red over plans for a traffic experiment on a busy by-pass.
More than 100 people have added their names to a petition to try to halt what local councillors have labelled as potential “by-pass chaos” on the Penwortham by-pass.
They are angry at proposals for “ramp metering” on the slip road from Liverpool Road up to the bridge over the River Ribble, financed with money set aside by Sainsbury’s as part of its contribution to road improvements pending the development of a new store at the Cop Lane junction.
Penwortham Town Councillor David Howarth said locals were up in arms over the scheme.
Mr Howarth said that when the Sainsbury’s plan went to South Ribble Council it “stood or fell” on whether or not the highways arrangements proposed were acceptable.
He added: “People hadn’t noticed it. It slipped through. The officers were asked to go back and re-negotiate.
“I have had more than 100 replies from people already.
“People are very concerned. This not what people had expected when told Sainsbury’s had put in money for road improvements.
“This concerns traffic flowing from Liverpool Road which has nothing to do with Sainsbury’s.Also, this is an experimental system. Local people with local knowledge know this won’t improve things.”
At present the flow of traffic form Liverpool Road onto the by-pass is self-regulating, with traffic fromm both lanes filtering to get down to the dock area and Strand Road.
Drivers going to Preston moved into the left hand lanes. Objectors to the plan fear that the red lights will cause more traffic to build up on the by-pass, which in turn will have an impact on traffic further back in Liverpool Road.
Rachel Crompton, highways manager for South Ribble, said: “During consultation for this planning application, the county council asked the developer to provide new technology using ‘smart’ traffic lights to keep traffic flowing as efficiently as possible at the merging junction between A582 Golden Way and A59 Liverpool Road.
“This was challenged by South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee which decided not to specify the technology as a condition of approving the application.”
Councillor Jon Hesketh, chairman of South Ribble Council’s planning committee, said discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have yet been made.”