Transport bosses today insisted a key road linking Blackpool with south Fylde will be closed for up to six weeks for repairs – despite applying for a road closure order of up to 18 months.
Lancashire County Council announced plans in July to close Division Lane, between Wild Lane – also known as the Moss Road – and Midgeland Road, following concerns about the safety of the carriageway and complaints from neighbours who felt drivers were using the route as a rat-run.
The county council has applied for a closure order from Monday, August 18 until February 26, 2016, but expect the carriageway repairs to be finished by September.
Sim Lane Dixon, Lancashire County Council’s highways manager for Fylde, said: “Division Lane will be temporarily closed for road safety reasons, so that important repair work can be carried out. This will unfortunately result in increased traffic elsewhere on the road network, but we hope that people will bear with us while this work takes place.
“The closure of nearby Wild Lane has resulted in an increase in the volume of traffic using Division Lane which has led to a substantial deterioration of the road surface on Division Lane and further issues at the eastern end of the moss road. This easterly section is our main area of concern and is the section covered by the temporary closure.
“Due to the nature of their construction, moss roads have a well-deserved reputation for being more difficult and costly to maintain.
“Although we applied for an 18-month closure, we don’t expect the work to take this long. At the time we applied for the closure, we hadn’t confirmed the exact cost or the nature of the work required. To avoid making repeat applications for short term closures and to save on advertising and legal costs, an 18-month closure order was agreed. To reiterate, we don’t expect to need the whole of this time.
“Funding for the repair has now been made available, the road has been surveyed and a method of repair agreed. We are currently programming a number of schemes with a specialist contractor and we expect the repair work to be complete and Division Lane re-opened to traffic by the end of September.
“All roads considered for resurfacing are assessed on their condition and their overall importance to the efficient operation of the road network. Roads are only closed where there are serious safety concerns or if there is no other alternative while resurfacing work takes place.”
The northernmost section of the moss road 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 to Division Lane, on to Midgeland Road, before completing the diversion on School Road.
But with the increase in traffic, transport chiefs at Lancashire County Council said it has taken its toll on the state of the road, leading to its closure.
Some neighbours have also voiced concerns about dangerous driving.
Resurfacing work on part of the diversion route, Heyhouses Lane, is due to start on September 4 to 13, but will be carried out between 6pm to midnight in a bid to minimise disruption.