Rethink on Colne bypass plans

TRAFFIC: North Valley Road in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
TRAFFIC: North Valley Road in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons

Your correspondent exaggerates the road congestion in Colne (“Colne is in traffic chaos”).

There are far worse, real gridlock situations elsewhere in the country. Colne’s congestion is only a temporary problem at peak times. He dismisses measures to ease traffic congestion as “tinkering ... will make no difference...” I don’t think he has seriously looked at the Cheshire scheme which replaced traffic lights with roundabouts. An appraisal of this scheme has shown these measures have dramatically reduced congestion and improved the flow of traffic.

Lancashire County Council held an online consultation on the East Lancashire Transport and Highways Masterplan. The question of whether we need a Colne–Foulridge bypass has revealed 60% strongly disagreed; 5% tended to disagree; 24% strongly agreed; and 9% tended to agree. 56% respondents felt something should be done about congestion in Colne.

In fact, LCC has admitted support for the bypass comes mainly from the business community. This has been confirmed by off-the-record comments of councillors, who said the reason for some agencies wanting the bypass is not to ease traffic congestion but to access land along the transport corridor of the bypass for housing and employment developments.

Furthermore, LCC has acknowledged the bypass would not be built unless it would generate economic growth. This is a prerequisite for the release of any monies for a new road.

As a result of this opposition to the bypass and suggestions on other traffic options, Lancashire County Council is undergoing a bypass rethink and is looking at alternatives to a new road. A bypass would cost £40m. whereas traffic alleviation works would cost a fraction of this amount.

David Penney

Colne