Safety concerns have been raised over the repaving of Westhoughton town centre.

Visitors to the centre say there are accessibility issues which has made the layout 'far more dangerous'

Westhoughton town centre is currently being repaved, with Market Street, King Street and other streets in the area undergoing layout changes.

The changes aim to create a main road that is 'easier for pedestrians and cyclists to use' and to slow down car traffic under a £2.3 M scheme.

Part of the works includes extending pavements over junctions.

Fully pedestrianising Market Street had also previously been suggested, but gained no support during public consultation. 

Nia Faulder, aged 37, lived in Westhoughton for 15 years until this year, and is still a regular visitor to the town.

The Bolton News: New paving on the junction of King Street and Market StreetNew paving on the junction of King Street and Market Street (Image: Public)

Nia, who is a wheelchair user, said: "They continued the pavement, paving over the road junction. They have done it for (all of the streets) in the town centre, but this is particularly for King Street, because its junction with Market Street is very busy.

"Market Street and King Street are constantly busy, with cars and buses using it to access houses, as well as Central Park and Central Drive, it is a bit of a rat run. 

"The pavement continues, but they have not made any effort to show when the pavement ends and the road begins.

"Usually, sight impaired people with a white stick are trained to feel for tactile paving. If you look at any zebra crossing, all of them have got tactile paving."

She continued: "Or at minimum there is some colour contrast to signify the end of the pavement and the beginning of the roadway, something to show the contrast between a safe area and a dangerous area.

"With this, they have put ramps in to go over the paving, but there is no way to show car drivers who has the right of way, and no way to show pedestrians who has the right of way.

"More cars going up and over the ramp is going to break the paving anyway, then it is dangerous for people on foot.

The Bolton News: Nia FaulderNia Faulder (Image: Public)

"It is not safe on the other junctions, but King Street is a particularly busy section.

"All it takes is one child to not stop and a driver to not notice them. It is far more dangerous than it was before."

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “The Market Street public realm scheme has been designed with continuous footways across side roads to make it easier for those with mobility issues or with prams to cross without going up and down kerbs etc.

“It also helps to emphasise to traffic that this is an area with high pedestrian numbers which requires extra care when traveling through and they should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the side road they are turning into or out of as is stated in the Highway Code (Rule 170).

“There are still road markings to be added which will further emphasise this.

“As with all such schemes we will be monitoring how it is used and if necessary further improvements can be made.”

One Westhoughton resident said of the new development: "There are no signs for the new road layout. It is incredibly dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians."