“Traffic flow” tests will be carried out on busy roads ahead of a major development after warnings that they could become “rat runs.”

This comes ahead of the major Streets for All plan in Farnworth which aims to make more space for pedestrians by widening the streets around the Market Street area and improve public space.

But Cllr Melanie Livesey, who represents Kearsley, has warned that the works could have a major knock on effect by pushing traffic onto smaller streets nearby.

She said: “If I pop out in the early morning for say a newspaper or milk my walk takes me across Hope Street in Kearsley to get to my local shop.

“Crossing the junction at Howard Avenue, Oakes Street, Clifton Street and Halshaw Lane is in itself a challenge because of the volume of traffic.

The Bolton News: The questions were heard at Bolton Town HallThe questions were heard at Bolton Town Hall (Image: Newsquest)

“But having said this during off-peak times many vehicles whizz down Howard Avenue at speeds at least above the 20mph limit.”

Cllr Livesey had previously warned that works around Market Street could worsen this situation further still, with car users leaving the main roads to avoid hold ups and using smaller roads and side streets.

She warned at the time that streets around Kearsley had already seen “rat runs”, which were likely to worsen as the works got underway.

Cllr Livesey put questions about what Bolton Council was planning to do to address this at a recent meeting.

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In response Cllr Hamid Khurram, cabinet member for planning, housing and highways, said that the Streets for All plan had been modelled 18 months ago and found “no significant realignment of traffic” on the nearby roads.

But he confirmed that further tests would take place to monitor traffic flow.

Cllr Khurram said: “I am happy to confirm that our administration is committed to undertaking a thorough and methodical evaluation of traffic flow and can also confirm that presently further detailed modelling is taking place as part of phase two of the business case.”

He added: “Lastly I can confirm that following completion of the scheme we will conduct a thorough monitoring and evaluation exercise and if necessary traffic management interventions can be carried out on the residential streets you reported.”