Misery for drivers over as Blackpool junction set to re-open

A major Blackpool road is set to re-open tomorrow as United Utilities completes work to install new water mains.

Monday, 12th December 2016, 5:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:33 pm
St Annes Road is due to re-open

Drivers have suffered more than a month of diversions and delays while St Annes Road has been closed.But work at the junction with Watson Road was due to be completed and the road re-opened in the morning.United Utilities has written to local councillors confirming the route is set to re-open.But that won’t be the end of delays along the busy route with United Utilities moving its pipe laying operation to Highfield Road.The water firm and Blackpool Council were both criticised when the works began because of the severe traffic delays that were caused.Traffic was diverted along Squires Gate Lane and Hawes Side Lane with many drivers using side roads in an attempt to avoid the lengthy queues.Drivers questioned why the closure had happened at the same time as works on Crossley’s Bridge in Bispham, another vital north to south route, and before the Illuminations had finished.Now United Utilities has said it is ready to re-open St Annes Road, but warned drivers its works in the area are not over, with the a new dig planned in the New Year.A spokesman said: “We’d like to thank our customers for bearing with us while we continue the maintenance work on the pipeline along St Annes Road.“The work will move into its next phase, after the work on the junction of St Annes Road and Watson Road concludes in the middle of this week.“The next phase involves excavations along the junction of Highfield and St Annes Road, these will begin in early 2017. Four way traffic lights will be in place while this work is in progress.”Coun David O’Hara, who represents Waterloo Ward, was pleased to hear from the water company.He said: “This was vital work which I know had to be done.“But I was very pleased when United Utilities wrote to me last week to inform me they intend to re-open the road.“It has taken a little longer than way maybe planned.“It was expected to take five weeks and they allowed six and they have used every one of those days and a little more.“It is of course good news that the road will re-open although the problems weren’t as bad as maybe were initially feared.“The traffic on Hawes Side Lane for the first week was very bad but once people found their way around it they did cope.”United Utilities has been laying new water mains between Blackpool and South Shore.Work started in March 2015 to clean and refurbish 17km of water pipe that serves around 50,000 homes and businesses.

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