Investment in Colne aims to cut congestion on one of county's busiest routes

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Major improvements to junctions in Colne are due to start shortly as part of a £1m programme to boost safety and reduce congestion on one of Lancashire's busiest routes.

The work around junction 14 of the M65, and along Vivary Way and North Valley Road, aims to improve safety by reducing queues on the M65, and making junctions operate more effectively.

As these roads are particularly busy, providing access to transpennine routes as well as a number of local business parks and residential areas, the work has been carefully planned with any major tasks involving lane closures due to be carried out overnight to minimise disruption to traffic.

The package of measures involves upgrading traffic signals to make them work more efficiently, widening some junctions, and changing lane priorities and signs on the approach to junctions to improve the way drivers are directed towards their destinations.

The improvements are being funded from the Department for Transport's National Productivity Infrastructure Fund, which aims to boost economic growth through measures to ease congestion and improve journey times.

The work will be completed in four phases over the next six months from M65 junction 14 to the Langroyd Road junction with North Valley Road. The first phase due to start on Monday 21 September will take six weeks, focusing on improvements to lane allocations, signing and a short section of resurfacing at junction 14 of the M65. The county council will provide further notifications and updates as the work progresses.

The overall project includes:

• Upgrading all traffic lights along the route to 'intelligent' signals which respond to traffic levels. The signals at each junction will be linked to maximise efficiency of traffic movements along Vivary Way and North Valley Road.

• Changes to lane allocations. For example, traffic approaching Boundary Mill from the M65 will be directed to use the right hand lane only, freeing the left lane to reduce queues for traffic carrying on to Vivary Way. At the next junction with Barrowford Road/Crown Way bollards will be introduced between lanes on the approach to ensure drivers stay in lane.

• Some widening of roads. For example the approach from Vivary Way towards the 'plumbing centre' roundabout junction with Harrison Drive and North Valley Road will be slightly widened to allow traffic making a left turn to proceed without waiting for vehicles which are queueing to go straight on.

• Signage will be simplified, making it easier for everyone to get in the correct lane and negotiate junctions more easily.

• Right turn 'pockets' will be introduced in some places where vehicles wishing to turn across the flow of opposing traffic can wait for a gap while allowing traffic behind to continue.
Improvements to traffic flow are expected only after all the work is finished, and following a period of monitoring and evaluation where the operation of the traffic signals will be optimised.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "This is one of Lancashire's most congested routes and I'm very pleased to be able to invest in these improvements.

"Our main priority is to improve safety by reducing queues on the M65, however this scheme will also make a difference to journey times in general by increasing the capacity and efficiency of the junctions along Vivary Way and North Valley Road.

"A wider study into this transport corridor is being carried out by Transport for the North as part of the work to look at improving east to west connections across the region, however it makes good sense to do whatever we reasonably can in the meantime to improve people's journeys along this important route by upgrading our existing infrastructure.

"We're aware this is a very busy route and have carefully planned how this project will be carried out to minimise disruption as much as possible, with any work which can only be done with lane closures in place due to take place overnight.

"We're grateful for people's patience while we make these vital improvements which I'm sure will make a real difference once they are complete."

Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel

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