Rocky road for safety bid

Division lane: Gateways and (below) County Coun John Fillis
Division lane: Gateways and (below) County Coun John Fillis

The future of a key Fylde link road took another turn today when plans were revealed to reopen the route with a series of traffic calming measures.

Lancashire County Council (LCC) has produced plans to install 10 ‘pinch points’ and two calming gateways for Division Lane between Blackpool and south Fylde.

John Fillis

John Fillis

The pinch points, bollards either side of the road every 100m, would help to narrow the route and slow down drivers.

The plans have been produced after fears from neighbours about the route being used as a rat-run by motorists following the closure of Wild Lane – also known as the Moss Road – in August last year.

Work was supposed to begin on the repair of Division Lane last month but was delayed at the last minute after residents complained that, if it was fixed, they would be inundated with more traffic.

And now residents have been left unimpressed by the new measures, which could be in place next month, with roadworks scheduled for the start of November.

Carol Gilligan, of Division Lane, said: “LCC want to open Division Lane and part reopen Wild Lane.

“We are concerned and neighbours are not happy.

“We have all enjoyed the beauty and quietness of a semi-rural area. If the pinch point scheme would go in, it would lower the tone of the area.

“If you saw these pinch points in place, as a buyer, it would suggest there is a problem with speeding drivers down there.”

The northernmost section of nearby Wild Lane was closed off in August last year due to the state of the road, with a repair bill set at £350,000.

Commuters could drive on Division Lane, on to Midgeland Road, before completing the diversion on School Road.

But Blackpool Council shut off Midgeland Road at its junction with crumbling Division Lane earlier this month after complaints by residents about the volume of traffic.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We met residents of Division Lane to discuss their concerns about traffic speeds and the work we need to do to repair the road and reopen it.

“Our officers put forward proposals for a traffic calming scheme to introduce ‘pinch points’ to slow traffic by narrowing the traffic lanes and adding small traffic islands at a number of locations along the road.

“We believe these proposals addressed the concerns regarding speed and volume of traffic.

“While it was clear those who attended the meeting did not support our proposals, we have left it open to them to suggest suitable alternatives. We did agree that the proposed new link road is needed and our efforts will be concentrated on progressing that scheme.

“We’re currently planning to carry out repairs to Division Lane in early November and we will reopen the road as soon as we can once work is complete.”