Roadworks meant to solve congestion problems are only making them worse, according to annoyed motorists.
As part of the City Deal, Lancashire County Council (LCC) has carried out work on the junction of Chain House Lane and Penwortham Way in Whitestake, and on the slip road from Penwortham Hill to Golden Way, in the direction of Preston.
Previously, the left hand lane into Chain House Lane from the direction of Leyland was a give-way filter, but now it is traffic-light controlled, forcing more traffic to queue back in the direction of the tip.
The slip road from Penwortham Hill to Golden Way used to consist of two lanes – one that continued straight over the bridge, and one that tapered off to give way. Now both lanes give way, resulting in cars queuing back down the slip road and up Penwortham Hill.
Howick and Priory Coun David Howarth said the new layout in Penwortham is “nothing short of dangerous”.
He said: “We’ve been getting endless complaints as it has made what was previously a problem of traffic filtering to go down to the Docks and up into Preston much worse.
“During peak periods it has virtually cut off Penwortham as there is a now a through run across the bridge from Cop Lane.”
He added: “What was a poor arrangement before, with traffic trying to jockey for position to criss-cross into lanes down to the Docks or up into Preston is now a nightmare with traffic from the Middleforth roundabout having a clear run and no need to filter in.
“This might work if through traffic is taken off Liverpool Road and onto a by-pass, but as yet that hasn’t even got planning permission.
“How many years are we now going to have to live with this?”
On the Whitestake junction, a resident who asked not to be named, said: “They’ve spent all this time and money on the junction, putting in crossings when it’s very rarely used by pedestrians, and they’ve ended up making it worse for motorists.”
Phill Wilson, LCC project manager for the City Deal team, said the issues were being monitored.
He said: “There was a bedding-in period as we adjusted the timings for the new traffic signals at Chain House Lane.
“There were some issues to start with but those have now been resolved and our monitoring suggests traffic flow through the junction has improved, however we will continue to keep an eye on the situation in case further adjustments may be needed.
“The change of priorities on Penwortham Hill is designed to work together with the improvements currently being completed on Golden Way and will add capacity to the road once everything is finished.
“We expect there to be a settling in period as drivers become aware of the new layout.
“The work to add capacity to the A582 as part of the City Deal is vital to help reduce delays as traffic levels grow in future.”