Reader’s letters - Thursday March 19, 2015

Artist impression of new development Haydock Grange, off Hoyles Lane, Cottam ' where there are traffic concerns. See letter

Artist impression of new development Haydock Grange, off Hoyles Lane, Cottam ' where there are traffic concerns. See letter

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Traffic risks of development

Will Hoyles Lane become another victim of over-development?

To picture the scene – Hoyles Lane is a semi-rural lane in North West Preston. There are over 200 houses along the lane – the majority having driveways that lead directly on to the road and exiting has to be done with care. The pavement, on one side of the lane only, and not continuously on the same side, is barely adequate to take a wheelchair or pushchair and young family safely. There is a 7.5 ton weight restriction sensibly imposed by Preston City Council many years ago (although not always adhered to). Traffic from the Broughton roundabout uses this road as a convenient through route to parts of Preston, Warton and beyond. Altogether, a busy lane which can only be negotiated with care.

CEG, developers and not builders, take advantage of the house building culture and apply for 350 houses on the western edge of land in NW Preston identified as suitable for housing. On the first application this was refused but after further negotiations, approval was granted. One of the negotiating points was how to keep traffic off Hoyles Lane so it did not become unsafe. An entrance to the site was agreed at the western edge off Sidgreaves Lane, the approval of an east/west link road running parallel to Hoyles Lane was agreed so traffic could be routed away and the only exit onto Hoyles Lane was to be for buses and emergency vehicles only. All this was accepted as a sensible compromise.

CEG is now trying to exploit their position. Its argument is that without access onto Hoyles Lane, this site is not ‘commercially viable’ and they want to lift the restriction. Nothing has changed since their original application to make this necessary. Nothing has changed since the ‘condition’ was made so why should it now be safe to remove the ‘condition’?

Residents are doing all they can to keep this access available to buses and emergency vehicles only. Hoyles Lane is not suitable for construction vehicles and there is a suitable access agreed from Sidgreaves Lane. To allow all cars from the new development becomes a concern because this access would not only be available for the CEG development but also to all the other developments in north west Preston. Hoyles Lane cannot safely accommodate such an increase in traffic.

When the application to lift the restriction is considered at the planning meeting, it is hoped councillors will uphold their previous decision to route traffic away from Hoyles Lane to keep it as safe as possible.

We hope councillors will also be mindful that the impact of construction traffic from the Haydock Grange site which has been allowed direct access onto Hoyles Lane will not be felt until work starts in the spring.

If the council thought it necessary to make a 7.5 ton weight restriction many years ago, how can they now agree it is safe to lift that restriction for construction vehicles – there is an alternative access. The scale of the building means construction traffic will be in the area for years to come and this cannot be considered to be a temporary inconvenience.

If this access is to be open to all, it will also set a precedent for other developers in the vicinity to apply for direct access on to Hoyles Lane – the traffic chaos and safety issues don’t bear thinking about! Let’s hope it doesn’t take a serious accident before local people are listened to!

Valerie Holland via email

Only a safe seat since the 1980s

The UKIP candidate shows how little he knows about Preston, after spending 10 years in the borough of South Ribble, when he says the Preston constituency has been a safe Labour seat for generations (LEP, March 9). Preston only became a safe Labour seat in 1983.

Prior to that, the two constituencies of Preston North and Preston South were both key marginals. Whoever took Preston North and Preston South usually became the government.

Graham Nelson, Preston

A big thank you to hospital staff

Regarding the picture of the old Royal Preston Infirmary, in Deepdale (LEP, March 11).

What a wonderful hospital it was.

In 1956-57, I was rushed in by ambulance during the night, when I was 14 years old.

I remember I hadn’t been very well, on and off, for quite some time.

Doctors were telling me it was probably due to teenage years.

Anyway, around Christmas time and before, I remember drinking lots of water and orange juice.

My mum told me, sometime after, that I had fallen down the stairs, and my brother was sent to get my uncle to go to the phone box to get an ambulance.

I was rushed to the infirmary. I was in a very bad coma, and was admitted to the medical ward.

I was told that doctors and nurses worked very hard on me with drips et cetera.

They told my mum I was at death’s door and that I had insulin dependent diabetes.

Nobody we knew had heard of it then.

Mum said doctors and nurses kept coming to help.

I remember Dr Anderson.

He told me I would be on insulin injections for life and a strict diet.

I couldn’t take it in at first, but all I can say is, if it wasn’t for the wonderful staff at Preston Royal Infirmary, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

Plus I used to like going to the hospital on Saturday mornings for my check-ups.

A big thank you to everyone over the years, it doesn’t seem enough.

Mrs J Rainford, Preston

Toughen up on beggar problem

The beggars (not the buskers) in Preston are getting beyond a joke. I counted eight in Preston centre this morning alone.

Now you can’t even walk through Hill Street car park without being accosted for money. Many of these aren’t the hard luck stories they try to portray. Just eavesdrop on a few of their conversations when their pals are stood talking to them.

It’s time the council toughened up on this.

It isn’t as if Preston has no systems to help genuine hardship cases and it puts a lot of people off shopping in the city.

Arthur Wilkinson, Blackpool