A Bolton councillor has welcomed Transport for Greater Manchester plans to upgrade pedestrian crossings.

The £720,000 Bee Network scheme will see improvements to three crossings in Bolton, as well as three in Wigan and four in Oldham.

All 10 Pelican crossings will be upgraded to Puffin crossings to ensure they meet current standards and provide benefits to pedestrians. 

Westhoughton South’s Cllr David Chadwick said he welcomed the plans to upgrade the crossings – which include crossings near bus stops on Park Road, Wigan Road, and Deane Road.

He said: “I’m very much in favour of them – anything that improves road safety for pedestrians has got to be a good thing.

“This is an important initiative because we’ve got too many people who drive around in their cars and think the speed limit is a minimum and not a maximum.

“Anything that improves the safety of pedestrians has got to be good.”

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Cllr Chadwick added that he had seen people ‘zoom around’ on Wigan Road and Park Road.

While Pelican crossings use set timings, Puffin crossings use sensors to determine when the crossing is clear.

Upgrades will also be carried out to improve pedestrian safety, and access to bus stops to minimise delays to road traffic including buses.

These include increasing the width of crossings and introducing tactile paving and dropped kerbs between several crossings and nearby bus stops.

Cllr Chadwick praised the plans, adding: “That’s brilliant. If you’ve got an elderly person or a lady with a buggy or small children, they don’t cross the road as quickly – or if they have disabilities.

“We’ve got to cater to people; it’s difficult enough trying to look after small children and a pram, it’s necessary, it really is excellent.”

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The locations of the crossings are designed to improve access to bus stops on key ‘orbital’ bus routes between towns in Greater Manchester.

The five routes are:

  • Wigan to Bolton
  • Wigan to Leigh
  • Bury to Rochdale
  • Rochdale-Ashton-Oldham
  • Ashton to Stockport

The upgrades are set to take place through spring and summer this year.

As well as improving public transport links, TfGM says the works will also improve walking, wheeling and cycling routes – which the transport body hopes will speed up journeys for everyone by reducing congestion.

Stephen Rhodes, TfGM’s director of bus, said: “For the Bee Network to be a success we need to improve journeys on the key routes people use every day.  

“That’s what these wider works are about, whether you are on a bus, driving, walking, wheeling or cycling. They will help to ease congestion and get people moving – making journeys easier and quicker.  

“These crossings are a way we can make real change quickly before the more major changes start to come in over the next few years and make significant improvements for the people that travel on these roads.  

“We know people want to see real change now and we’re going to make sure we do that to not just improve journey times, but reliability, comfort and how safe people feel when out travelling.” 

The works to improve these routes is set to take place between now and 2027 and the public will get the chance to find out more about them and have their say through engagement and consultation.     

If you have a story, I cover the whole borough of Bolton. Please get in touch at jack.fifield@newsquest.co.uk or click to send me a message on WhatsApp or on Signal on 07517566383.