Broughton bypass hopes ‘diminishing’

Traffic backs up close to Broughton roundabouot
Traffic backs up close to Broughton roundabouot

THE chances of a bypass for Broughton are “fast diminishing”, according to the county’s council leader.

Geoff Driver cast a huge doubt over the future of Broughton Bypass but has promised to invest £7 million to improve traffic conditions in the area. The county council will now ask the public to help improve the notorious Broughton roundabout.

Coun Driver has promised residents the council has a “blank sheet of paper” and is ready to listen to ideas about how the cash should be spent.

He said: “We are putting this money there with what is really a blank sheet of paper to see exactly how we can resolve, relatively immediately, the traffic problems associated with Broughton.

“Something has to happen to solve the problems, which are only going to get worse.”

The investment, part of a new £50m cash pot the county is planning to plough into a number of schemes across Lancashire, comes because of fears the long-awaited Broughton bypass is many years from becoming reality.

Developers Taylor Wimpey have planning permission to build more than 600 homes on the old Whittingham Hospital site. But they can only build 350 before they must make a multi-million pound investment to help pay for the bypass scheme.

And with the housing market far less buoyant, the fear is that it could be many years before that happens.

County Coun Driver said: “There has been, for many years, a proposal for a Broughton bypass.

“Because of the conditions attached to the bypass in relation to the planning permission for Whittingham Hospital...what we are saying is the chances of the bypass happening in the near future are fast diminishing.”

Last year, Lancashire County Council tabled a scheme to make improvements at the roundabout, including an extra lane.

But locals rejected the idea, saying it failed to address a number of other problems.