A BOLTON MP has weighed in on the debate around the "controversial" posts which until recently lined one of Bolton's busiest roads.

Chris Green, the Conservative representative for Bolton West and Atherton, says that the separating cycle lanes from traffic on Chorley New Road, should not be reinstated.

He said: "As someone who used to often cycle, I see them as additional hazards for cyclists, obstacles for road maintenance and a reason for motorists to narrow their focus."

Bolton Council announced earlier this week that the posts, which were temporarily removed for Ironman, will not be reinstated until the outcome of a consultation is finalised.

The decision has been made to avoid any unnecessary expenditure should they decide not to make them a permanent fixture.

The cycle lane wand orcas - vertical polls segregating the cycle lane from the traffic - on the A673 Chorley New Road were removed ahead of Ironman taking place.

With Chorley New Road being part of the triathlon route, their removal was to allow for enhanced social distancing and for the safety of the athletes.

Matt Allen, chair of the Bolton Liberal Democrats, said: "Disappointed to read this Chris. As a cyclist, I take a great deal of comfort in knowing there's some additional protection."

Read more: Cycle lane posts on Chorley New Road might not return

In reply to critics, Mr Green added: "The posts don’t really do anything other than present a physical obstacle to cyclists and pedestrians.

"Unobstructed roads are better than those with obstructions. Filling in potholes with available cash is a good idea."

The wand orcas were implemented on Chorley New Road earlier this year as part of the Covid-19 Emergency Active Travel Fund programme.

Public consultation has been carried out on whether or not to make the scheme permanent and feedback is currently being evaluated before a report is presented for a formal decision by the council.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr Stuart Haslam, said: “The council is in agreement that it would be a waste of public funds to reinstate the wands in advance of a consultation decision being made.

“This is not a reflection of the consultation findings, it’s simply a practical and financial decision.”