Short Lane short-cut causing short tempers in village near Preston
It’s Short by name and short by nature . . . and this tiny stretch of road just outside Preston is causing a lot of short tempers.
The tiny Short Lane between Langley Lane and Whittingham Lane has always been a shortcut for those in the know but remained quiet and used mainly for access by residents.
But extensive roadworks to create a new water pipeline, which necessitates vehicles travelling to and from Goosnargh taking a lengthy diversion along the narrow rural lanes via Inglewhite Road, has driven motorists to desperate measures.
Short Lane has become a congested flashpoint where lorries battle with cars daily on the narrow road.
The junction with Langley Lane was last month the scene of an accident where a car collided with a lorry , prompting road ‘no access signs’ to be installed.
But drivers have been failing to comply and keep moving them away in their desire to take the Short Lane cut-through, angering local residents who are furious at the scenes in their quiet backwater.
In the latest incident an HGV struck an overhead cable, causing damage.
The roadworks themselves are being undertaken by United Utilities and are part of a six mile water pipeline to carve its way through the Preston countryside
The £16.5m project to boost water supplies across the North West began in June.
Four under-used reservoirs are being connected to the region's network by a six-mile pipeline being built under the Lancashire countryside.
Engineers will even tunnel under the M6 motorway to link up White Bull near Longridge to Broughton and then on to the Franklaw Water Treatment Plant near Garstang. It is hoped the project will improve resilience of water supplies.
United Utlities says the new pipeline will mean up to 38m litres of water a day will be added to supplies - enough to serve 90,000 average homes.
The current stage of the road closures, due to finish in mid November, has seen Whittingham Lane, in Pudding Pie Nook, closed from Langley Lane until just before the junction with Short Lane.
But that is little comfort to frustrated drivers and the residents of Short Lane.
A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We’re aware of the issues experienced by residents of Short Lane in Preston.
“It is very disappointing that some motorists have chosen to ignore the official diversion route, while Whittingham Lane is closed, and travel down Short Lane instead.
“We’ve done everything we can to resolve the situation including adding extra diversional signage asking drivers not to use Short Lane, changing Short Lane to a one way traffic diversion to discourage its use and contacting Lancashire Police.
“Our employees have also gone to Short Lane to stop motorists and ask them to use the correct diversion.
“Our work in the area is due to complete at the end of this week and everything should return to normal. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”