Moss Bank Way should become dual carriageway again to reduce accidents, councillor claims
A STRETCH of busy Bolton road should be reinstated as a dual carriageway in a bid to cut down on accidents, a councillor claims.
On Tuesday, a motorcyclist was hurt in a crash, in Moss Bank Way, near Astley Bridge Cricket Club. He was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries, which are now thought to be minor.
The cause of the accident is being investigated by police, but the number of crashes on the road has prompted local residents to call for its speed limit to be reduced from 40mph.
But ward councillor John Walsh lays the blame for speeding motorists on the irritation they feel at being held up in traffic congestion caused by stretches of the ring road being limited to one lane each way.
So, when drivers come to a clear section of road, they speed up and are tempted to make up for lost time by exceeding the limit.
“I think a lot of it is due to frustration. That is the cause of the problem,” he said.
Moss Bank Way was a dual carriageway until the late 1990s but then, in a controversial move, the council reduced it to one lane in each direction, and introduced cycle lanes.
Cllr Walsh opposed the policy, arguing that it would encourage motorists, angry at being stuck in traffic, to seek rat-runs to avoid delays to their journeys.He says since then traffic congestion has become worse and is causing the road to become more dangerous.
“The single lane policy has caused a lot of problems. The council has made the road less safe, rather than more safe,” he said. “I would like to see two lanes reinstated.”
Some residents have argued that the speed limit should be reduced.
“Cars speed down both ways of Moss Bank Way. Having 40mph on stretches of the road is just too fast,” said one woman, who asked not to be named.
“There are kids, a cricket club and schools nearby. I don’t know what can be done, but it’s not the first time this has happened and won’t be the last.”
But Cllr Walsh believes 40mph is the correct speed for the ring road, although he plans to ask police to carry out more checks in the area in a bid to crack down on motorists exceeding the limit.
A Bolton Council spokesperson said: “All road speeds across the borough were reviewed independently through Transport for Greater Manchester two to three years ago and Moss Bank Way was not identified as needing any adjustment.
“The single lane section was introduced over 10 years ago, following a spate of accidents, to address the speed issue and minimise the risk of further incidents.
“In addition, a set of traffic lights are operating in this part of the road and these also control the flow of traffic.”
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