Anger grows as road link to remain closed

Blocked off:  Phil Worden from Charnwood Kennels and Cattery at the road closure between Division Lane and Midgeland Road     Picture DANIEL MARTINO
Blocked off: Phil Worden from Charnwood Kennels and Cattery at the road closure between Division Lane and Midgeland Road Picture DANIEL MARTINO

Blackpool highways bosses today insisted they will push ahead with plans to keep a road link closed – even when nearby repair work is complete.

Blackpool Council said it wants to keep Midgeland Road in Marton closed to appease residents – despite Lancashire County Council (LCC) plans to open neighbouring Division Lane.

Coun John Jones

Coun John Jones

Midgeland Road and Division Lane were closed earlier this year after complaints from neighbours about the state of the roads and concerns they were being used as rat-runs.

Last month LCC revealed it planned to start work on a series of traffic calming measures on Division Lane to reopen the route.

But Blackpool Council said it could continue to keep Midgeland Road – which is in good condition – shut even once the work is complete.

The roads had been used as a cut through after the closure of Wild Lane –also known as the ‘moss road’ left only two routes between St Annes and Blackpool – Clifton Drive North and Queensway.

It comes as one furious resident blasted Blackpool Council’s stance after he was left stranded following a crash last week which crippled the road network.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council cabinet member for streets and transport, said: “Lancashire County Council has made us aware of their latest plans in regard to work on Division Lane.

“We are continuing to talk to residents on Midgeland Road and Division Lane about their concerns.

“As I’ve said previously in the event of Division Lane re-opening to through traffic we would seek to put in measures in place to continue the closure of Midgeland Road.

“I am still of the opinion this will be necessary but we will monitor the situation over the coming months.”

The northernmost section of nearby Wild Lane was closed off in August last year due to the state of the road, with a repair bill set at £350,000.

Commuters could drive on Division Lane, on to Midgeland Road, before completing the diversion on School Road.

But Blackpool Council shut off Midgeland Road at its junction with crumbling Division Lane earlier this month after complaints by residents about the volume of traffic.

After two incidents on Queensway in as many days – a car fire and a motorbike accident – a business owner on Division Lane has said enough is enough.

Phil Worden, 36, owner of Charnwood Kennels, said: “We get a lot of customers from out of town. If they follow a sat nav, it takes them to Midgeland Road, but it is blocked.

“We are getting people having to walk down to the kennels with animals and animal food bags.

“Last week, when there was the car fire, I could not get home as every route to the kennels was blocked – it should not be that way.

“It is just such hard work – it is getting to the point where some people feel like moving the barriers themselves – enough is enough.”

Speaking last month, County Coun John Fillis, LCC’s highways chief, said his intention was to open Division Lane as soon as possible.

He added: “We’re currently planning to carry out repairs to Division Lane in early November and we will reopen the road as soon as we can once work is complete.”