Relief in sight after six months of pain for drivers near Tesco store in Penwortham

Relief could be in sight for irate motorists held up by roadworks near the new Tesco supermarket in Penwortham over the last six months.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 7:50 am
Queuing traffic at temporary traffic lights on Liverpool Road.

County Hall bosses say temporary lights could be removed any day now at the junction of Liverpool Road and Cop Lane, allowing a new traffic system to be finally switched on.

Drivers have been exasperated since December when work began on building a new access into the store site and introducing a new road layout to serve it.

The supermarket opened on January 29 without the works being finished. And, even though the improvements appeared to have been completed around April, delays are still bugging motorists.

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A customer edging out of the store onto Liverpool Road.

"Why have we still got temporary traffic lights if the roadworks are done?" asked one local resident, who says he gets caught in queues on Liverpool Road on a daily basis.

"The new traffic lights are all in place, yet they aren't switched on, just covered over. It's crazy."

The delay, says highways authority Lancashire County Council, has been caused by a technical snag connecting the new traffic light system to the electricity network.

They are hopeful the problem will be resolved by the end of the week and the junction will be up and running soon after.

New traffic light system is set to be switched on in days.

Tesco which is paying for the highways work, says it is looking forward to the newly-erected traffic lights at the entrance to its car park being switched on to ease the flow for its customers.

The delay is the latest in an on-off supermarket saga which has divided opinion in the town for the past 11 years.

The five-acre site, previously occupied by government buildings, was originally bought by fellow retail giants Sainsburys in 2010, but their planned store failed to get off the ground.

Tesco bought the site in 2013, but then decided to pull out in 2018 and sell the plot - only to do a U-turn in 2019 and announce it was pressing on with the store.

An opening date of last October was targeted, but minor planning issues held it up. Now a technical issue off-site has meant delays in getting customers in and out.

A spokesman for the company told the Post: "We look forward to the completion of this work to ensure our customers have the easiest experience shopping at our Penwortham store.”

An LCC spokesman explained: "We understand from the contractor which is delivering these highway improvements on behalf of Tesco that there has been a delay due to an issue during the work to connect the new traffic lights to the electricity network.

"We understand that this will be resolved by the end of this week, and that work is currently being scheduled to carry out the final task of testing the new traffic signals and getting them up and running."