RESIDENTS have welcomed news that the long-awaited Westhoughton bypass is back on the agenda.

A report for Bolton Council’s cabinet meeting this week recommended members approve the project on principal.

The report does not outline a definite route for the road, but says it would “significantly reduce” delays along the section of the A58 between junction five of the M61 and the junction with Leigh Road, as well as unlocking potential development land to meet future housing demand.

Residents in the town have reacted positively to the news.

George Twist, of Daisy Hill, a former town councillor and owner of Gee Tee’s store in the town centre, said: “I can speak from two perspectives. I have to travel daily to Pemberton and the traffic is horrific.

“It can take as long as an hour to drive from Pemberton back into town.

“I think this bypass will reduce the time of travel between the junction and the M61 and improve the flow of that traffic.

“The bypass would take away that traffic the builds up in the area towards Pemberton. The traffic from there is horrific and it’s usually during commuter times.

“It will make it far easier for people who want to shop in Westhoughton.”

Park Road resident Ruth Thompson, aged 59, has lived in Westhoughton for 50 years.

She said: “It will be a good because it’s a bottle neck on Park Road when it’s busy.

“If something happens on the motorway you can’t move at all in Westhoughton. It is very, very slow.

“People have got to come through Westhoughton to get to Wigan.

“The bypass will help. There are building more houses so you take so we need something in place because the roads are not going to be able to take it.”

According to the report, building the long-awaited Westhoughton bypass would help to reduce traffic through the town and be of “high value” for money.

The idea for a new bypass has been under consideration for decades, but never went ahead due to a lack of funding and because the government concluded it was “not of sufficient strategic national importance”.

As well as recommending that councillors approve the project, it also advises them to start talks with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to progress the scheme.

A resident of Mill Street, who did not wish to be named but had been living in the town for 40 years, said: “The traffic is really bad, particularly around tea time and in the morning during rush hour. I think the bypass is a good idea.”

“When we first came here this was just a country lane. I never thought 40 years on that we would have a main road and all the traffic.