PLANS to build a new access road to a quarry in Horwich would mean fewer heavy goods vehicles using nearby roads.

Armstrongs Aggregates Ltd, based at Pilkington Quarry, Makinson Lane, also operate the nearby Montcliffe Quarry on Georges Lane.

Pilkington covers 53 acres near Horwich and was operational for more than 100 years.

It is also home to Armstrongs head office and their service garage.

Pilkington 1 is exhausted but carries permissions to receive 2M tonnes of inert waste, while Pilkington 2 is unmined but carries a pale brown, highly durable gritstone.

Planning documents submitted on behalf of the firm by The Mineral Planning Group Ltd show proposals for a new access at the Montcliffe site.

The plan states: “The primary aims are to facilitate the movement of quarry plant and equipment between Montcliffe Quarry, Armstrong’s maintenance facilities on Makinson Lane and Pilkington Quarry 1 without having to use the public highway and the movement of empty HGVs between the HGV parking area and Montcliffe quarry, in order that they do not need to use public highways.”

Armstrongs said there intentions were "in the interests of road safety".

The report added: “The only operational change through this varying of conditions would be the addition of an ancillary entrance to Montcliffe Quarry, from the area to the east.

“This area has re-fuelling pumps, workshops, offices, and an HGV parking area, where AA’s HGV fleet is parked overnight, or, when not in use.

“Currently, heavy plant that is required to be moved between Montcliffe and Pilkington quarries must be loaded onto a low-loader and transported into Horwich, where there is sufficient turning space, before returning to the quarry sites.

“The change would allow oversize and heavy plant to be directly transferred between the quarries, with no need to use the public highway.

“At the start of each working day, some HGVs are required to travel directly to Montcliffe Quarry to collect minerals. Currently, these must travel via Makinson Lane, onto Georges Lane, and then into the main Montcliffe entrance.

“The varying of operating conditions would allow these empty HGVs to travel directly to Montcliffe quarry without using the public highway. Only HGVs bound for Montcliffe Quarry would make use of the ancillary entrance, in order to collect minerals.

“This would have a positive effect on road safety through a reduction in total HGVs using the public highways near to the site, as well as completely removing the need for quarry plant to use the public highway when moving between the two sites.”