BOLTON: Fears that planned cycle route could mean loss of hundreds of on street parking spaces

WORRIES have been expressed about parking on the A666 through Kearsley after plans were revealed for a new cycling route which will be separated from the main road by bollards.

Some residents and a local councillor say problems and much inconvenience will be caused by the placement of ‘orca wands’ outside properties , where residents park their cars.

Bolton Council has started a consultation on the matter.

They outlined their hopes for the scheme, saying: “The proposed scheme seeks to enhance the existing cycle lane provision along the A666 Manchester Road and Bolton Road, between Farnworth town centre and the borough boundary with Salford.

“This will be through road space reallocation and light separation in the form of ‘wand orcas’, cycle lane delineators with reflective bollards.

“It is envisaged that the use of light separation, whilst offering the opportunity to modify the scheme in the short term, will be a permanent measure or until replaced with a fully segregated scheme once the route is established.”

Cllr Paul Heslop, an Independent councillor for Kearsley said a number of issues have been reported to him about the scheme.

He said: “Without doubt, south of Darwen, the Kearsley section of the A666, Manchester Road and Bolton Road, has the highest number of terraced properties along the A666 right through to the A6.

“On the most congested part between Stoneclough Road and Kearsley roundabout, there are double yellow lines down one side of the road.

“From the Pilkington Road junction right through to the Slackey Brow junction, the residents on these terraced houses use the road to park their cars as there is no off-road parking.

“In addition, there are streets off the road that are lined with terraced houses with limited parking.

“Kearsley is of course is hemmed in on three sides by motorways and by-passes so any initiative to improve air quality and make better use of public transport or healthier transport options is very much welcome.

“However, it is far from clear how residents are going to cope with potential removal of literally hundreds of places to park their cars with no reasonable alternative.

“There are of course many residents with mobility issues and it is vital that these residents are able to have access in the immediate vicinity of their homes.

“The road was recently resurfaced and takeaways and shops offering online-order-store-pick-up services approached me about the lack of vehicular access for customers and deliveries during that work.

“I have now been approached about the negative impact of the proposed orca wands and worry how already beleaguered traders will survive if the ability for customers to pull up at shops is removed.”

He said he hoped the consultation took seriously the issues raised by residents.

A Kearsley resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are residents who need access to their cars because they have disabilities or care for children or adults with disabilities.

“People who have installed electric car chargers wouldn’t be able to access them and those residents who cannot park in front of their homes would have to park on side streets which are already overflowing.”

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