‘This 10-mile diversion will bring chaos to our villages’

Alan Whittaker, Coun Edward Forshaw and Coun Peter Lloyd at the junction of Mill Lane and Preston Road in Charnock Richard which is to close for resurfacing

Alan Whittaker, Coun Edward Forshaw and Coun Peter Lloyd at the junction of Mill Lane and Preston Road in Charnock Richard which is to close for resurfacing

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Residents in a Chorley village say roadworks on a main road between Charnock Richard and Coppull are a recipe for disaster.

Lancashire County Council will shut Mill Lane at the junction with the A49 Preston Road on Saturday and Sunday, between 8am and 5pm while the route is resurfaced.

But locals are angry the diversion is 10 miles, taking them through the centre of Eccleston, and neighbouring villages Ulnes Walton and Euxton to get to Charnock Richard.

Bus services will be affected and access for pedestrians restricted.

Alan Whittaker, who is the clerk to Heskin Parish Council, said: “It is going to be absolute chaos.

“Some 18x12-inch signs have been put up, but all the information they give is a telephone number to ring if you want to find out more.

“Who is going to remember the number when they have driven past it?

“It is typical of Lancashire Country Council. The last time there were roadworks in Eccleston the signs were telling motorists about Langton Brow being closed, yet not everyone from 10 miles out knows where that is.

“An awful lot of people use that road and will not know what is going on, apart from seeing the little signs.

“I think they should just put some signs up saying access to Heskin and access to Charnock Richard is closed in both directions.

“It a recipe for disaster, because some people use the road when they come off the motorway, even though they shouldn’t.

“They’re going to be queuing over the place, as no-one knows about it.

“I think it is outrageous that the diversion will send people through three villages to get to Charnock Richard and Coppull.”

Meanwhile, an Eccleston resident Emil Leon, of Shelley Drive, was equally shocked.

He said: “It is going to be a nightmare.

“This road is the main artery for people to get to work in Coppull.

“Eccleston is going to be even more busy, with motorists coming off the motorway.

“The village is already dangerous enough, without this.”

Alan Capstick, highways manager for Chorley, said: “This section of Mill Lane is in need of resurfacing and the only way we can do it safely is by closing the road and putting in a diversion suitable for all types of traffic.

“We’re trying to minimise disruption as much as possible by choosing this time of year when the Camelot theme park is closed and have discussed the work with several businesses at the nearby motorway service area.

“We’re also doing the work at the weekend to minimise disruption to businesses and hope to have it completed, including having the lines repainted, by Sunday afternoon weather permitting.”