Shortcut shut off to drivers

Charnock Richard motorway services
Charnock Richard motorway services

Residents who campaigned for a busy shortcut through their village to be closed off to traffic have finally won their battle.

People living in Charnock Richard have been fighting to have the road leading up to the M6 motorway services shut for the past few years.

This week it was announced the barrier, which has been out of action following due to vandal attacks, will be put back to use, and the unofficial shortcut will no longer be accessible to members of the public.

Coun Harold Heaton, who has helped locals to push the move forward, said: “In my opinion, that route should always have been shut off because a lot of traffic comes through Charnock Richard as a result of drivers using it.”

The decision was made by Welcome Break, the company responsible for the site, and the Highways Agency, following complaints from residents about the amount of vehicles passing through their village.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “Welcome Break, in compliance with the requirements of their lease, is closing the barrier to prevent unauthorised access to and from the motorway.

“The rear access roads to service areas are not designed to cater for large volumes of traffic, they are there to deal with local servicing.

“Neither the service road nor the adjacent local highway network have been designed to safely cater for such traffic.

“Excessive use of these roads can also have unacceptable environmental impacts on local residents.

“Members of the Parish Council and the local MP have contacted the Highways Agency, requesting that action is taken to ensure that a working barrier is in place to prevent such a use.”

Manager of Welcome Break, Sarah Clamp, added: “We don’t want the local community to be frustrated, so we’ve agreed to put the barrier back into use.

“We haven’t set a date yet, but it should be working within the next couple of months.”