Motorists' fury over 'ridiculous' traffic delays on main road between Rawtenstall and Burnley

Motorists travelling between Burnley and Rawtenstall have been taking to social media to vent their anger over huge delays caused by road resurfacing work and what many believe to be poorly calibrated temporary traffic lights.

The resurfacing work on the Rawtenstall stretch of Burnley Road, which began this week, has caused huge tailbacks throughout the day and even well into the evening, with many people saying it has led them to miss doctors’ appointments, interviews and left them late for work.

To make matters worse, many students are also sitting GCSE exams at the moment.

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Community social media pages have been inundated with angry comments from frustrated drivers, many complaining that a usual 10 minute journey was taking nearly an hour.

Traffic gridlock on Burnley Road, RawtenstallTraffic gridlock on Burnley Road, Rawtenstall
Traffic gridlock on Burnley Road, Rawtenstall

One issue seems to be that the temporary traffic lights installed were letting too much traffic through in one direction, causing tailbacks in another.

One resident said: “The temporary traffic lights are not the answer – they are not prioritising the flow – the flow needs managing with stop and go and people on walkie talkies.

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“It’s called communicating with each other, something Lancashire County Council don’t seem to understand.”

Those thoughts were echoed by the leader of Rossendaler Borough Council, Coun. Alyson Barnes, who criticised Lancashire County Council’s handling of the work, and said the temporary traffic lights should be manually operated.

She said: “We have had a succession of road works on Burnley Road over the last few weeks and months.

“Temporary traffic lights are put in place, which create havoc for residents, workers and school pupils. We have repeatedly asked Lancashire County Council to ensure that their contractors use manually operated lights at peak times - to reduce time delays and keep traffic flowing.

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Work on this road has brought traffic in Rawtenstall to an absolute standstill on a regular basis - this is simply not acceptable.”

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Lancashire County Council told the Burnley Express that work was ahead of schedule.

A county council spokesman said: “The resurfacing work being carried out on Burnley Road, Rawtenstall is ahead of schedule and should be completed on Thursday May 25th. We will be returning at a later date to replace the road markings, however this work will not be so disruptive.

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“We're aware of the impact that resurfacing work on valley roads has on people's journeys, and are grateful for people's patience, however where there is no reasonable alternative route which allows the road to be fully closed, this means we can only do it with lane closures and temporary lights in place.

“We have been doing all we reasonably can to minimise delays by managing traffic through the work area manually at peak times. At other times the signals are activated when vehicles approach, but the calibration of the signals has been lost at times due to people jumping the lights, which causes further delays.

“The section of Burnley Road we're working on needed to be resurfaced, and should provide people with smoother journeys for many years before further maintenance on this scale is needed again.”