Road to nowhere as key link latest to be blocked

Division Lane in Marton
Division Lane in Marton
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Motorists are to be hit with another crippling road closure after transport chiefs said the commuter route was no longer safe.

A section of Division Lane which links Wild Lane – known locally as the Moss Road – with Midgeland Road in Marton is set to be blocked off because of the state of the single-track road.

It means motorists will now effectively be left with just two routes open between St Annes and Blackpool – Queensway and Clifton Drive North.

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 instead drove three-quarters of the way before veering off 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.

Now they are to apply for a temporary closure to fix it – but refused to say when the work will start or how long it will take to complete.

Sim Lane-Dixon, public realm manager for Fylde at County Hall, said: “We have agreed to the temporary closure of Division Lane between Wild Lane and Midgeland Road for safety reasons as the condition of the road makes it unsafe for the volume of vehicles currently using it.

“We now need to go through the legal process for a temporary road closure, which will take a number of weeks.

“We will undertake repairs to bring the road back into use as soon as possible.

“Division Lane was never part of the preferred diversion route for the closure of Wild Lane. Drivers who have been using Division Lane as a rat run will still be able to use the diversion route, which was chosen for public safety as well as traffic reasons.”

A temporary closure order can be in place for up to 18 months.

The Midgeland Road route has become a battleground between motorists, horse riders and pedestrians in recent months as more and more motorists use the unofficial diversion.

Midgeland Road residents have frequently complained of speeding and inconsiderate driving on its narrow lane.

Ann Sargeant, of Midgeland Road, who has long campaigned for increased safety measures in the area, said: “I could have cried when I heard the news.

“Everyone on the road can breathe a sigh of relief now.

“The traffic has been horrendous, it’s not just the volume but the speed and

aggression of the drivers. I’m absolutely over the moon with this outcome and I’d like to thank the police and council for helping us.”

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streets and transport, said: “Midgeland Road residents have been extremely patient while we tried to find a resolution to this problem.

“We’ve had many discussions with the county council and I’m delighted we’ve now found a resolution the residents and businesses in Midgeland Road are happy with.

“I’ve stood on the road myself and it just doesn’t feel like a safe environment for cyclists, pedestrians or horse riders.

“Once this section of Division Lane is closed we will do all we can to help the traffic flow as freely as possible through other major junctions in the area.”

A spokeswoman for Blackpool Council added once the closure was in place, and the impact on other roads is felt, transport bosses will look to investigate whether the lights sequences at key junctions – such as School Road with Queensway and Common Edge Road and Progress Way – could be adapted to ease any congestion.

Last week, The Gazette reported how the Government had pledged to bankroll a long-awaited new link road on the site of the Moss Road, but it could be several years before any schedule for work is decided.