FURIOUS residents have forced Bolton Council to rethink plans to erect a 22 ft traffic sign just inches from a row of terraced cottages in a conservation area.

Town hall bosses have agreed to "look again" at moves to install the giant primary route display after coming under pressure from Bolton North-east MP David Crausby.

Two large poles have already been inserted in the pavement near the junction of Halliwell Road and Moss Bank Way to hold the sign which will inform motorists of the distance to nearby towns such as Blackburn and Wigan.

But neighbours are furious at the plan which they claim will tower over their homes and obstruct their view.

They also believe it will be a danger to the many young pedestrians using the road as they leave Smithills school.

Self-employed decorator Arthur Wright, aged 58, who lives with his wife nearby, said: "It is absolutely ridiculous to put a sign of this size next to a row of cottages.

"This will be enormous and will obscure the views from our homes."His neighbour, Alison Henderson, a 48-year-old care assistant, who lives with her husband and 17-year-old daughter, added: "This sign is far too close to our homes and whoever planned it has not taken into consideration the people who live here."

Mr Crausby added: "I am pleased the council are to reconsider this plan because it really is inappropriate.

"I admit that it is difficult to find somewhere to place this sign but I feel that more imagination should have been used to fund a more suitable solution."

A spokesman for the council said: "This is part of an on-going programme to re-sign the primary routes and the sign in question is the standard size for its type.

"This particular location presented a number of challenges because of the presence of a lot of services in the area.

"However, we are aware of the concerns of some residents about the sign and we have agreed to have another look at it and try and find an alternative location."