Controversial Padiham traffic lights turned on

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Controversial traffic lights branded a “waste of money” have finally been switched on in Padiham

Town councillors were locked in a battle with county hall chiefs to stop the “illogical” Burnley Road lights from being brought into use.

Traffic lights in Padiham.'Photo Ben Parsons

Traffic lights in Padiham.'Photo Ben Parsons

But fears over potential town centre traffic chaos were ignored and the six-month saga was ended with the lights being connected up earlier this week.

Padiham Mayor Alan Ravenscroft, who has spoke out against the lights, said: “It is just a blunder. They have not taken into account the views of people, especially the town council which offered some advice.

“We have got lights outside the town hall and more lights outside Physiofusion. We’re not short of crossings in the town. There has always been a Coop there but there was no need for a crossing there before.

“It astounds me. I was in Tesco and people were saying they don’t see any need for them either.”

The lights were built as part of £300,000 highways improvements around the Tesco store which opened last October.

Concerns were raised after the traffic signals had stood unused for more than six months. Lancashire County Council officials admitted that the position of the lights, on Padiham Bridge, had caused difficulties in connecting them up to an electricity supply.

Town councillors questioned the planning of the lights, situated on the bridge and just yards from a mini roundabout, and feared it would create a traffic bottleneck in the town centre.

Leading Padiham figures called for a halt to the work and sought assurances that county hall officials would discuss their concerns before going ahead with the lights.

But last month a statement from county engineers said they were set to be connected up this month. However Coun. Ravenscroft was assured that the lights would be monitored.

He said: “We have done our utmost as a town council to convince the people at Lancashire County Council that we don’t need them but they fell on deaf ears.

“We will keep an eye on it and have another go at Lancashire County Council.

“My feelings are that it is highly unlikely that they will look at them and say ‘we were wrong. We will turn them off.’”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We’re glad the power company has now connected the lights.

“We always monitor the impact of any change to the road network and will keep an eye on the junction to make sure the timings of the traffic lights are working as efficiently as possible.”