Motorists have been warned they face a long spring and summer of delays as work continues on the Broughton bypass.
A be patient plea has now been issued by Lancashire County Council as it acknowledged that drivers heading towards the M6 from Broughton need to allow more time for journeys, due to the closure of the dedicated eastbound M55 filter lane.
It follows growing concerns from motorists about repeated traffic hold-ups, particularly at peak times.
Graeme Leathard, project manager for highways at Lancashire County Council, explained: “This lane closure is necessary so that we can safely carry out the changes to the road layout and other related utility work. We hope that people will bear with us while this work is carried out. We’re doing what we can to minimise delays to people’s journeys, but please allow more time when travelling in this area.
He added: “We’ll reopen the filter lane when possible, but we expect it to largely remain closed until the bypass opens in the summer.”
While the road layout is being changed vehicles can still access the eastbound slip road onto the M55 from Broughton roundabout, but the dedicated lane from the A6 is closed.
Peak time road users are particularly affected by the delays and the council is now reviewing the timings of the signals on the roundabout, to see if any adjustments can be made to reduce the hold ups.
As part of the construction work for the bypass D’Urton Lane has been closed to through-traffic, which has also affected journeys in the area.
Under proposals approved this week the lane will be permanently closed to through traffic at its eastern end when the bypass opens, unless councillors object.
The decision to permanently close this end of D’urton Lane to traffic will, it is hoped, benefit cycle users who use the lane as part of the Guild Wheel route.
The council says the closure is being introduced to prevent the road being used as a shortcut by drivers wishing to avoid the M55 J1 traffic signals or as a shortcut between the new bypass and Eastway.
The scheme, which includes the creation of two rows of kerbing and a raised area, will cost £15,000. The council chose the eastern end of the lane because a turning space can be created on existing land at minimal cost.