Green light for Chorley pedestrian crossing - after ten years stuck on red

A pedestrian crossing will be installed on a busy road in Chorley this summer - a decade after completion of the development that will fund it.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 6:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 6:12 pm

As the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed in November, residents living in the Pilling Lane area have been left looking in vain for a safe place to cross the route - in spite of first being promised a set of traffic lights back in 2008.

That was as part of a planning agreement made when permission was granted for a new estate on the former site of the Multipart/TVS distribution centre.

The two housebuilders behind the scheme were told that they would have to pay for the crossing and that it should be operational - close to the entrance to the development, at the junction of Pilling Lane with Factory Way - before 50 out of the 200 planned properties were occupied.

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Residents were promised a crossing on Pilling Lane, close to the junction with Factory Lane, when a housing development was partially completed a decade ago

That point came in 2010/11 - but plans for the crossing seemingly went walkabout.

Now, highways bosses at Lancashire County Council - who requested the cash for the crossing in the first place - have reassured locals that their long wait at the kerbside is nearly over and that the ‘toucan’-style facility will be installed in the coming months.

Chorley councillor Paul Walmsley welcomed the news, but said that the new lights were undeniably overdue.

“They are a safety measure that was deemed necessary, because the estate is directly opposite a park - so it makes sense to have a crossing at that point and it shouldn't have taken ten years to come to fruition.

“The developers weren't going to stump up the money unless they were asked for it at the time they should have been.

“Residents have been wanting to know what had happened to the crossing and I’ve been chasing it up for at least five years - and now that it’s actually happening, it seems the work itself can be done quite quickly,” said Cllr Walmsley, who represents the Chorley South East ward on the borough authority.

John Gatheral, highway design manager for Lancashire County Council, said design work was currently being carried out on the crossing and other upgrades also pledged for the area.

“Following agreement with the developers once this has been completed, [we] expect to be able to deliver them during the summer..

"The remaining highway improvements to be delivered as part of the planning conditions for this new development include a pedestrian crossing phase at the existing traffic signals on Pilling Lane at the junction with Bolton Road and a toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists near to the entrance of the development on Pilling Lane.

“There will also be additional measures on the surrounding roads for cyclists and pedestrians,” Mr Gatheral added.

The two developers of the Factory Lane estate - Barratt Homes, which owns the David Wilson brand used on the site, and Redrow Homes - both said that they were unable to provide any information about the reasons for the decade-long delay when approached by the LDRS in November.