Colne is the congestion capital of the county

North Valley Road is a source of frustration for many drivers
North Valley Road is a source of frustration for many drivers
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Serious traffic problems in Pendle have again came under the spotlight at county hall in Preston.

County councillors debated the problems at the last cabinet meeting.

Proposals to spend £2.7m on two schemes were discussed after Pendle Liberal Democrat representative David Whipp raised the issues at the county hall meeting.

Coun. Whipp drew attention to proposals being put to Lancashire’s cabinet to spend £1m on North Valley Road in Colne to ease traffic congestion.

He said: “Colne is the congestion capital of the county, but I’m sceptical of any significant improvements on North Valley. The only sensible proposal is investing the money in bringing forward a proper bypass of Colne and the A56. The North Valley proposal needs a serious coat of looking over to get value for money.”

Coun. Whipp also questioned the decision of the county council’s cabinet to spend another £1.7m on installing traffic lights on the roundabout on the West bound side of the M65 at junction 13 at Nelson.

“I raise my eyebrows at spending £1.7m on putting traffic lights on this roundabout – putting lights on the opposite side of the M65 (at the college roundabout) wasn’t the most popular scheme.

“There’s a great need to invest in Pendle, but local residents would rather see £1.7m spent repairing potholes than more traffic lights on a roundabout.”

County Council Leader, Coun. Geoff Driver criticised Coun. Whipp for his comments and accused him of hypocrisy.

Economic Development lead, Conservative County Councillor Michael Green said he was appalled by Coun. Whipp’s comments as the funding for roundabout signals was needed to allow expansion of an industrial estate.

However fellow Pendle councillors Azhar Ali and Christian Wakeford agreed with Coun. Whipp. Despite their support, the schemes for Colne and junction 13 were kept in the county council’s capital programme.

After the meeting, Coun. Whipp said, “There may be opportunities to take sensible proposals forward to cut congestion in Colne in the near future. In the meantime, I question whether there’s any short or long term benefit in subjecting North Valley and Vivary Way to disruptive roadworks which will just end up with us back at square one.

“As to more traffic lights at junction 13, I seriously wonder if the county council has got its priorities right.”