‘Crazy speed limit is risking lives’

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Lives are being put at risk by a ‘crazy’ speed limit on a busy Chorley road.

Those are the fears of a Heskin resident who says he witnesses near-misses on the 40mph stretch of Wood Lane every day.

Now, after a cyclist was injured in a road accident in the village last week, Heskin Parish Council Clerk Alan Whittaker says the problem is worse than ever before.

He said: “I can’t believe Wood Lane in a 40mph zone; the area is so built-up and a lot of children go to school that way. Elderly people walk down the road too and there are so many sharp, blind-bends, it’s just crazy. People’s lives are being put at risk. It’s ridiculous.”

Mr Whittaker has been campaigning for change for years, but wants urgent action to be taken now the Charnock Richard motorway service station access has been closed off to drivers.

“Heskin is extremely busy now,” he said. “The decision to close the M6 access at Charnock Richard has forced many more vehicles to go down Wood Lane to get on the motorway at Standish instead.”

“It’s getting to the stage where the speed limit isn’t acceptable anymore.

“There have been accidents round here in the past, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of near-misses I see every day.”

Since February 2007, there have been five recorded road collisions on Wood Lane, resulting in 10 casualties.

On Friday, a cyclist in his 60s was found with back and leg injuries at the side of the road on Halfpenny Lane.

The speed limit in the nearby villages of Eccleston and Wrightington is 30mph, and Mr Whittaker, who is a keen cyclist himself, is demanding that action be taken to reduce the limit in Heskin by 10mph.

He has written to the police and Lancashire County Council (LCC) about his concerns, which he shares with fellow parish members and neighbours.

Rachel Crompton, public realm manager at LCC, said: “The Police have increased their enforcement of access to the M6, leading to and from Charnock Richard services. We are aware that this has affected drivers’ choice of routes, including through Heskin.

“We have arranged to carry out speed surveys after the start of the new school term, when traffic patterns have returned to normal following the summer holidays. And we are happy to keep Mr Whittaker informed of progress with our investigations.”