Plans for a major road works scheme have run into strong opposition at a public meeting just days before a crucial intervention on their future.

The scheme will see Bolton Council bid for £20m of “Levelling Up” funds for new traffic light systems to roundabouts on De Havilland Way and for signalled junctions on the Beehive Roundabout, the Spirit of Sport Roundabout, the A6 De Havilland Way Roundabout and at Junction 6 of the M61.

But this has proven controversial, with residents who attended Monday night’s meeting at the University of Bolton Stadium worried it may not improve congestion and could mean that a long hoped for Junction 7 on the M61 is not pursued.

Cllr David Grant, who attended the meeting, said: “Their priorities are not the priorities of the people of Horwich.

“There are other schemes which would have far more impact for people in the area.”

The Bolton News:

The plans will see new traffic lights installed all around the area

The majority of people who attended showed their opposition to the plans, with many voicing their objections to “bulldozing our heritage” and moving the Spirit of Sport Statue, according to resident Ryan Bamford.

Bolton Council director of place Gerry Brough attempted to allay concerns with a presentation which said it should be “fully delivered” by March 2025 and that the scheme did not mean Junction 7 could not be pursued in future.

Mr Brough also confirmed that a condition for Levelling Up bids is that they are supported by their MPs, in this case Bolton West MP Chris Green.

The Bolton News:

A number of residents voiced their opposition to the plans at Monday's meeting

Council leader Martyn Cox said: “We’ve had a series of public consultations and clearly there is a mix of opinions, but the benefits are clear.”

He added: “I think we’ll be able to come to a decision over the next few days.”

Cllr Cox has previously said he hopes the works will reduce journey times and encourage more active travel, while Labour’s Cllr Kevin McKeon said that 43 per cent of people responding to a recent consultation supported the plans, while just 42 per cent opposed them.

Mr Green confirmed that he still hopes to hear from residents and will be deciding on whether to give his support in the coming days.