Speed

 

As the highway authority for this area, Lancashire County Council is responsible for all highway matters, including speed limits. Click here to see Lancashire County Council guidelines to speed controls. There are two items which currently dominate the issue of speed limits.

 

The first is a commitment on all highway authorities to review the speed limits on all A and B class roads in their areas by 2011. Lancashire County has already produced its plans for A class roads in West Lancashire and the only change proposed within this Parish is to extend the 30mph limit on Blaguegate Lane to cover the area up to “South West Lancashire Farmers”, where the road name changes to Dickets Lane. There is no change proposed of the existing 40 mph limit on Wigan Road between its junctions with Plough Lane and Lyelake Lane, in spite of the long history of road traffic accidents there. However, there is a possibility of applying an advisory 30mph limit under a separate road safety scheme. The Parish Council awaits a formal consultation on the matter.

 

The second issue is that of a reduction in the national speed limit on rural roads to 50mph, with provision for lower speed limits where justification can be shown. The Government is currently conducting a consultation exercise and this Parish Council has written to local MP, Rosie Cooper, expressing strong support for the proposal. The national speed limit of 60mph currently applies along most of Spa Lane and a long section of Firswood Road, as well as to a section of Lyelake Lane and Whiteleys Lane. Such a high speed limit encourages reckless driving along roads where pedestrians and cyclists are most vulnerable. This Parish Council supports the efforts of Lathom Parish Council aimed at reducing traffic speeds along Hall Lane, especially close to the primary school and at particular hazards. Where this same road becomes Plough Lane, at its offset junction with Spa Lane and Dicks Lane, further measures are already the subject of a separate safety scheme, on which formal consultation is expected soon.

 

Whilst generally supporting lower speed limits, this Parish Council is mindful that unrealistically low limits can cause driver frustration and might have an adverse effect. They can also lead to the perception of rural areas becoming urbanised. A proper balance must be struck, therefore.   

  

 Spa Lane Speed Reduction

There has been an initiative by Spa Lane and nearby residents (living in both parishes) to obtain a speed reduction.    Lathom South Parish Council has given support, as has the Residents’ Association. To see why they consider they need a reduction click here

 

October 2009 petition sent to Lancashire Country Council and copied to MP and other district and county councillors, Lathom Parish Council, Lathom South Parish Council and the SLRA (South Lathom Residents Association).

Since then the following accidents have occurred:

 

18 November, residents invited to present their case to the Lancashire Local and 18 residents attended and 3 spoke.

24 November.  Two women in a car ended up in the ditch just east of the nursery

30 November. The farmer had his tractor and trailer parked at the side of the road to carry out maintenance to his hedge, he had traffic cones and a car ran into the back of his trailer.

08 December. A small van slid off the road into the ditch  opposite no. 14 just after the bend travelling from Plough Lane towards Skelmersdale

02 January 2010. A car slid off the road again into the same section of ditch (this was before the snow)

13 January. A  car slid off the road again into the same section of ditch

17 January (approx.).  A car collided with another at the Firswood Road junction, took the turning too late and too quickly.

 

January 2010  letter from MP Rosie Cooper and Lancashire County Council stating that they are putting traffic and speed counters on Spa Lane for 1 week in the Winter (it was installed on 5th Feb), Spring and Summer. They will then assess the results.

 

Meanwhile if you hear of, or witness an accident or have a scary episode to do with fast traffic on Spa Lane, please let the Parish Clerk (Lathom South Parish Council) know details ie. the date, what happened and whether the police attended and whether it was speed related.

 

 

Overgrown hedges or verges

 

With our very busy roads and lanes, overgrown hedges make walking difficult and reduce sight lines for drivers so we have found out what can be done when hedges and verges become overgrown.

 

West Lancashire District Council (WLDC) is responsible for mowing our roadside verges. They should be mown at least twice a year, in early summer and early autumn. If you notice that they have not been mown, or get badly overgrown between mowings, contact WLDC by telephoning 01695 577177 or emailing customer.services@westlancsdc.gov.uk or via their website using the "contact us" tab at the bottom of the page:   http://www.westlancs.gov.uk

 

Property owners are responsible for trimming hedges. Farmers mostly employ contractors to do the work for them and it is common for cutting to take place in the early Spring and in the autumn.   However, there are times when growth is quite rapid and strands (especially of bramble) intrude across the footpath. If landowners fail to keep hedges trimmed Lancashire County Council (LCC) will write to remind them and, if necessary, get the work done and bill the owner. However, the process takes some time to complete so don’t expect instant results.

 

LCC is also responsible for clearing overgrown pavements - so called “siding works”. Last year LCC cleared Lyelake Lane and Plough Lane but people have still reported problems, especially with brambles.

 

To report problems relating to overgrown hedgerows, highways and footpaths contact Lancashire County Council by telephoning 0845 053 0011or via the website on Lancashire County Council   Often the best way to go direct to information from Lancashire County Council is to access through the Directgov site and use the search button at the top which takes your to the relevant part of the Lancashire website you want. for example type in "hedgerow"  in the search box in the top right hand corner and it takes you to various  problems with hedgerows and gives a link to report it. To access the Directgov site click her

Whenever you report a problem to either council ask for a reference number.

If you experience problems with getting any remedial work completed let us know via the "contact us" tab.

 

 

Other Highway problems

 

LCC is also responsible for highway matters so if you have a problem say with a pothole contact them through the website as above.   The biggest problems seem to arise from the proliferation of HGV's on our rural roads.  Many of these HGV's  are travelling to and from Round O Quarry on Cobbs Brow Lane Newburgh.

 

 LCC have advised contact details as follows effective 24/05/2015

1.    Telephone: 0300 123 6780, this is a local call rate number, and the line is open 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

2.    Email: highways@lancashire.gov.uk. You will be issued with a reference number and if you require an update you can telephone or email and an update will be provided.

3.    Report It: Use our online reporting system at www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads. This map based system will allow you to easily and quickly tell us where and what the fault is. You will be provided with a unique reference number, which you can use to log into the system and track the progress of your report at any time.

 

 

Round O Quarry

Click here to see a Round O HGV problem on our highways

Round O is located on Cobbs Brow Lane Newburgh which is out of our parish but its effects are very much felt in our area. There has been mounting concern in the parish over the adverse environmental caused by the increasing number of HGV’s on our rural roads. The quarry did for a number of years extract aggregates, this work has now ceased but the site continues to operate as a landfill site for inert materials under planning permission 08/98/983 which runs out in 2010.  At that time the site is supposed to be “restored in its entirety” under the planning permission 08/98/0973. Over the last few years the quarry has been infilling with this inert, hard core waste at a fairly fast rate and what was a horse-shoe shaped large hole in now a small circular hole.

LCC also approved a planning application by Inglenorth Ltd in March 2006 to use the site as an aggregates recycling site and it is this work that has caused our HGV problems. It is part of the planning approval that HGV wheels are cleaned before leaving site and wagons are sheeted.

Despite these legal requirements the site commenced operations without adequate wheel washing facilities and few vehicles where sheeted.  With the high number of HGV’s and inadequate cleaning and sheeting of wagons the roads around the quarry were awash with mud and covered in debris. After numerous complaints (including many from SLRA and parish council) LCC finally took enforcement action to make them build and improve wheel wash and cleaning facilities. SLRA and the parish council attended this enforcement inquiry. We also established through the Freedom of Information Act that LCC covered up an error that allowed double the amount of HGV’s to operate from the quarry per day. Nobody spotted a typing error on a legal document sent out to the quarry owners detailing the number of HGV movements, an incorrect number was typed!! We also sent numerous pictures of unsheeted HGV’s to LCC which they took up with the quarry owners.

On the positive side there was considerable improvements after the enforcement inquiry, roads were much cleaner and HGV’s were sheeted but we must continue to monitor this. As a Parish Council we will now be invited to quarry liaison meetings and any non compliance with planning regulations will be lodged with the Authorities.  If you find the roads covered in mud or see HGV’s unsheeted please inform LCC on the contact details above.

Let your council know as well through the “contact us” page. We ask you to report it as is felt that it will carry more weight and assist our case for something to be done if many more residents officially register their concerns. We continue to monitor HGV movements. One of the problems is that LCC will try to pass the issue over to someone else. For example if you report un-sheeted HGV’s or mud  they will try to pass you over to Police and class it as a dangerous road issue BUT IT IS A PLANNING CONDITION and they must deal with it for you so insist on registering your complaint.

·        Provide specific details.

·        Ask for a response.

·        Keep notes and a copy of what action you have taken.

·        Keep the Parish Council informed, as appropriate. 

Inglenorth Ltd are the main user of the Quarry but other Companies may also be involved. If problems related to Inglenorth are identified, e.g. convoys, routes, lack of sheeting, over-running verges, etc. contact Inglenorth and /or the Executive Director of Environment.

Inglenorth Ltd. Unit 138  Bradley Hall Trading Estate  Bradley Lane, Standish Wigan WN6 0XQ.  Telephone    01257 421090

Mr G. Harding Executive Director of Environment Lancashire County Council. PO Box 9 Guild House Cross Street, Preston. PR1 8RD.

Accidents and dangerous conditions.

Contact: Southern Command Police Operations Room Telephone 0845 1253545.