‘Chaos’ warning over road closure

Division lane: Gateways and (below) County Coun John Fillis
Division lane: Gateways and (below) County Coun John Fillis

An extended closure to a key link road between Blackpool and south Fylde could spark “chaos” when other road works start, a county council road chief has admitted.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport at Lancashire County Council, said his priority was to reopen Division Lane as soon as possible after its closure last month left just two main routes between south Fylde and Blackpool – Clifton Drive North and the Queensway.

Heated: Coun John Fillis (above) criticised Coun Geoff Driver (below)

Heated: Coun John Fillis (above) criticised Coun Geoff Driver (below)

He revealed roadworks, including resurfacing work on Heyhouses Lane, due to start today, could add to delays for motorists and a link road between the M55 and St Annes remained the answer.

He added: “We have pressure in the whole area.

“We have major works on other roads which will cause chaos if we do not have any get out point.

“We are working with Blackpool Council for a way forward and there were some expressions to keep it closed until the link road is open.

“The link road is the answer and the better option for everyone concerned. We hope to make an announcement soon.

“There are a lot of consultations we have to go through before we achieve this road. But we have to keep roads open.”

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 could drive 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, leading to its closure.

County Coun Fillis visited up to 20 residents in Midgeland Road and Division Lane on Friday after complaints from residents worried about motorists using the route as a rat-run.

He added: “What is clear is residents on Division Lane and Midgeland Road are not happy.

They have a number of serious concerns about speeding cars, the state of the road and the ability to travel in both directions.

“I listened to them and spoke to them and said it is my plan as highways member to keep the road open.

“How and when we do that we are working on – we cannot put a timeframe on this yet.

“We will go back and speak with residents before we do anything.

“Then we will look at starting the work. It is right the road is closed. It definitely needs work.

“The Division Lane road surface is shot. Any more heavy traffic and it would just break up.”

Heyhouses Lane is set to close today from 6pm to midnight each day until September 13 for resurfacing works.

Diversions will be in place.