Police trap the rush hour ‘rat run’ drivers
8:50am Friday 25th January 2013 in News
DRIVERS who illegally use a quiet residential street as a “rat run” to avoid traffic lights have been warned by police they could be fined.
Only residents and visitors are allowed to use Chassen Road, in Heaton, for access, but residents have been complaining that motorists are ignoring the signs and using it as a cut through from Tudor Avenue to Chorley New Road.
Police said it was their number one priority after meetings with residents in Heaton and Lostock.
This week police have been stopping cars cutting through at peak times, between 3.30pm and 4.30pm, when children are being picked up from Bolton School. Residents are also concerned about motorists parking in Tudor Avenue on double yellow lines, at the bus stop and outside people’s homes blocking their drives.
Police stopped more than a dozen vehicles on Wednesday and Thursday to ask what they were doing there.
Some claimed it was the first time they had used the road, while others said they did not see the signs, while one driver admitted he used it every day.
Police can issue £30 fines, but on the day motorists were just given warnings.
PC Andy McMath said: “People need to be aware of the signs.
“This operation is about education and awareness. It is the number one issue in the Heaton and Lostock ward so we are acting on those concerns.”
Motorist Bernard Nicholson, aged 68, from Great Lever, was one of the drivers stopped. He said: “I was taking a short cut because I saw the queue at the lights and thought I would go through.
“I regret that decision now. I come down here on my bike and I did not realise I cannot in the car — I didn’t see the sign. It is a quiet street and it shouldn’t be used as a rat run.”
A resident of Tudor Avenue, who asked not to be named, said: “It is dangerous for the children, without doubt.
“There are cars parking and blocking residents’ drives.
“Drivers park on both sides of the road and in the bus stop and cut through Chassen Road. It gets chaotic.”