This is when Chorley's new Starbucks drive-thru is set to open, as resident calls for road safety changes first

A resident living close to a new drive-thru Starbucks being built in Chorley says that it poses a risk to road safety - and claims that a crash in which she was involved right outside the site proves it.

Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 12:33 pm

A branch of the coffee outlet is currently under construction on a plot off the A6, Preston Road, just over half a mile from the town centre.

The proposed redevelopment of the long-derelict land was initially rejected 12 months ago by Chorley Council’s planning committee over concerns about its impact on traffic using the surrounding roads - but that decision was later overturned on appeal by a planning inspector.

Read More

Read More
Work starts on drive-thru Starbucks in Chorley - in spite of residents' road sa...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

There are claims that Chorley Hall Road is too narrow to cope with the increase in traffic that will come when a new Starbucks drive-thru opens - and one resident wants the junction with the A6 widened so that drivers turning in do not cross into the path of motorists leaving the coffee outlet

However, one objector to the scheme says that her own recent experience shows that the councillors’ initial caution was well-placed.

The woman - who wanted to be identified only by her first name, Leanne - told the Lancashire Post that she would describe the development as an accident waiting to happen - if she had not already had one.

She was travelling in a car being driven by her husband, who was turning left from the outbound side of the A6 into Chorley Hall Road - from where Starbucks traffic will emerge once the outlet opens - when their vehicle was struck from behind.

“That side road is very narrow - you can just about get two normal-sized cars side-by-side, but it’s really tight. If you meet another car coming out, you can take up more than half the road making the [manoeuvre].

One local fears that the crash in which she was involved is a foretaste of things to come once Starbucks opens on Preston Road in Chorley

“You have to slow right down - but people come up that hill on the A6 so fast that somebody is in the back of you before you know it. The man who ran into us didn't see our signal.

“I was already very angry about the Starbucks, because the area is mayhem anyway at peak times - you have got people trying to get out of the new Tesco, the petrol station and Chorley Hall Road. There are also a lot of schoolchildren in that area who go to St. Michael’s.

“I think Lancashire County Council should widen Chorley Hall Road to allow for the extra vehicles that are going to be using it when Starbucks opens - the footpath doesn't warrant being as wide as it is.

“I spoke to a councillor who said maybe they could make it a one-way system, but something needs to be done - and it needs to be done now before there is a very bad accident,” Leanne added.

The Post understands that the Starbucks drive-thru is set to open in late April, although an exact date has not yet been confirmed.

Vehicles will enter the site directly from the A6, but will have to exit onto Chorley Hall Road and either wait to turn back onto the main road or use residential routes to leave the area. Both options were condemned as potentially chaotic and dangerous by objectors and some planning committee members last year.

The initial application was refused by councillors in spite of the fact that highways officials at Lancashire County Council had not opposed the plan and Chorley Council’s own planning officers had recommended that it be approved.

County Hall said at the time that the roads surrounding the Starbucks site had “no adverse accident records” and the planning inspector at the appeal concluded that the proposal would not be detrimental to the local road network.

Responding to the latest concerns about the development, a spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: "We consider very carefully the impact which any proposed development may have on highway safety.

“However, there is no evidence available to suggest that additional traffic resulting from the proposed Starbucks development would result in unacceptable impacts on highway safety.

“A series of highway improvements needed to support the development and ensure safe and adequate access have been agreed. These include the relocation of the existing pedestrian refuge and changes to road markings on Preston Road to create a dedicated right turn lane into the site, along with changes to kerblines and installation of tactile paving to support pedestrian movements."

Alex Kenwright, development projects director at the Blackburn-based EG Group, which is behind the new outlet, said: 'We are proud to be investing in the new Starbucks drive-thru development in Chorley, which will create about 15 to 20 new local jobs and provide excellent welfare to people on the move in the surrounding area.

“We have worked closely with the local authority and our professional advisers to ensure the new provision adds value to the local area ‒ meeting with all planning and regulatory requirements.”