Chorley pedestrian crossing poised to go green a decade after it was promised

The wait for the green man to appear at a pedestrian crossing can sometimes be a little longer than pedestrians standing at the side of the road might like.

By Paul Faulkner
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:15 am
Cllr Samir Khan at the new pedestrian lights on Pilling Lane
Cllr Samir Khan at the new pedestrian lights on Pilling Lane

However, residents living close to a busy route in Chorley have been waiting for more than a decade for the traffic lights that they were promised to guide them safely across from one side to the other.

As the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) revealed last year, locals in the Pilling Lane area were told to expect the installation of a “toucan” crossing on that road as part of the estate built on the former site of the Multipart/TVS distribution centre on Factory Way.

The two developers behind the scheme were told that they would have to fund the facility as a condition of being granted permission - with the lights having to be in place before any more than 50 properties on the 200-dwelling plot were occupied. That point came and went in 2010/11 - but the lights remained elusive.

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However, when the LDRS raised the issue with Lancashire County Council - which had requested the crossing in first place - the authority said that it was awaiting an agreement with the developers for the cash, but had sent them an estimate for the cost of the work.

Now, almost 12 years later, the lights have been installed and are finally due to be switched on next week - marking the completion of a scheme that appeared to have become permanently stuck on red.

The absence of the crossing has been the subject of campaigns and complaints from several local councillors down the years, the latest being Samir Khan.

"A condition of building homes on the old site was that a safe means of crossing Pilling Lane, already a busy road, was created - particularly for children getting to and from school,” said Cllr Khan, who represents the Chorley South East and Heath Charnock ward on Chorley Council.

“It's taken far too long, but with constant pressure from our local councillors we at last have the crossing in place. Local residents, too, have played their part in campaigning to see that what was promised is delivered - now we just need to get it wired up and functioning.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council told the LDRS that the wait was nearly over.

“We began work at the start of October on a number of improvements to pedestrian and cycling facilities in the vicinity of Pilling Lane which have been made possible due to developer contributions available through the planning system.

"This is a busy part of Chorley and these improvements will make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle.

"The works around the junction of Pilling Lane and Bolton Road are now complete. There has been a small delay to the completion of the pedestrian crossing further up Pilling Lane due to the bad weather, however we're hoping to be able to complete work to apply a high friction surfacing on both approaches to the crossing this Thursday.

"The final piece of work to get the new pedestrian facilities up and running is due to be carried out next Tuesday," the spokesperson added.

David Wilson Homes and Redrow Homes, the developers of the Factory Way estate, have previously told the LDRS that they had no information on the reason for the delay.