M-way junction chaos warning

The Highways Agency want to put traffic lights at the roundabout at the top of M55 juntion 3/Wesham circle interchange. Work's due to start March 7 and residents and councillors are furious because they weren't told. Pictured are Coun Maxine Chew and local resident Stella Humphreys at the roundabout
The Highways Agency want to put traffic lights at the roundabout at the top of M55 juntion 3/Wesham circle interchange. Work's due to start March 7 and residents and councillors are furious because they weren't told. Pictured are Coun Maxine Chew and local resident Stella Humphreys at the roundabout
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A TRAFFIC nightmare could be created on one of Fylde’s busiest roundabouts if major work goes ahead, residents have claimed.

Locals have been left furious after the Highways Agency announced work to fit traffic lights at the M55 Junction Three roundabout would begin next month – despite no consultation taking place.

Stella Humphreys, who lives close to the motorway on Fleetwood Old Road, Greenhalgh, told The Gazette: “We use that roundabout every time we go out and the first we knew about it was a letter on February 18.

“Yes, traffic from the roundabout does back up but it’s rush hour traffic and lights will halt the traffic and create more problems.”

Fellow resident, Kirkham Coun Elaine Silverwood, added: “It’s ridiculous.

“They should be consulting with residents – we’re the ones who use it day-in, day-out.”

The Highways Agency have assured worried people works – which are due to begin on March 7 – will “reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability”.

But Coun Maxine Chew, who represents Singleton and Greenhalgh, said it was unacceptable residents and members had been left in the dark.

She added: “I agree it’s got to be safe and it’s got to be maintained but none of this seems to take into consideration the upset it causes local residents.

“I’ve never had anybody complain to me about congestion from there.

“I was extremely offended they were so rude and disrespectful to the councils.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies and Lancashire’s top highways chief, County Coun Tim Ashton, have taken up the case and are now trying to get the work halted so consultations with residents can take place before any work goes ahead.

Mr Menzies said: “I would hope they would have at least spoken to local residents and councillors before going ahead with this type of work, which many people are unsure is necessary.”

And County Coun Ashton added: “The scheme may be worthwhile but it would be nice to be consulted rather than told it’s going to happen.”

The Highways Agency estimate work will last between three and four weeks and said they will cause “minimum disruption” for drivers.

Once completed, they claim it will save most drivers one minute and those coming from Kirkham four minutes on their journey time.

A spokesman for the agency added: “The traffic signals will be controlled by the queues, adapting to changing traffic conditions.

“They will not switch on even at peak times if congestion does not occur and will not cause any unnecessary delay.”