'Stop using our car park as a cut through': Longridge store pleas with drivers avoiding sinkhole diversion

A store in Longridge is pleading with impatient drivers to stop using its customer car park as a cut-through route instead of following a road diversion put in place by the council.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 12:30 pm

Lancashire Council were forced to introduce a diversion for drivers on July 20 after United Utilities started emergency works when a sewage pipe collapsed on Inglewhite Road.

But local businesses hit back at the closure, which has now been in place for more than six weeks, claiming they were suffering 'massive' losses as the roadworks are putting people off and forcing them to shop elsewhere, with diversions causing 'ridiculous' levels of traffic.

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Gail Wilkinson and Rachel Byrne from Anji's shop in Longridge

The diversion has been signed via Derby Road, Whittingham Road, Halfpenny Lane, and Inglewhite Road to direct people around the closure, but local residents say the council failed to take into account the traffic issues already affecting the area.

And now local business Anji's Emporium, a savings shop selling hardware, toiletries and other household goods, is pleading with drivers to stick to the alternate route after its car park began being used as a shortcut.

Owners warned they may have to consider closing the car park, which would be 'unfair to customers' shopping there and say those speeding cars are an 'accident waiting to happen'

A public statement said: "Unfortunately, people have been using our car park as a cut-through rather than following the diversion. The people who continue to do this need to remember that they are driving through a car park.

The road closure on Inglewhite Road has caused frustration for locals and businesses

"The speed some people drive through to avoid the diversion is an accident waiting to happen. There are customers reversing into and out of spaces, people walking to their cars, we carry shopping out for people who need help and having a car fly around the back of the building, and potentially causing an accident, has to stop.

"We don’t want to have to lock our gates at the back of our building to stop people doing this as it’s unfair on our customers who are using it to come and shop with us.

"The road works have had a negative effect on our shop and we appreciate every single one of our customers and do not want to put them out because of a select few people who can’t slow down.

"If this doesn’t stop we will be forced to lock the gates as we can’t risk someone getting hurt."

The shop car park is being used as a cut through by impatient drivers

Access to the shop is still available from either the Sainsburys side of Inglewhite Road or the Berry Lane side of Inglewhite Road by using the left turn before the shop.

Lancashire County Council's highways team had been hoping to reopen the stretch of road, between the junctions with George Street and Barnacre Road, once the depression had been excavated and refilled, but following their investigation, it became evident the cause was a sewer collapse, which needed work to be carried out by United Utilities.

In the latest update, United Utilities were still working to fix the problem, after workmen had come across complex difficulties five metres below ground.

United Utilities have been contacted for an update.

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