Anger over delays to Colne congestion report

Pendle Council is calling for publication of a report into options to relieve traffic congestion in and around Colne.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 12:30 pm

The £300,000 Highway England study was due to be published 12 months ago but has not yet been published.

Liberal Democrat leader Coun. David Whipp told the most recent full council meeting that the study was announced in March 2019 by then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on a visit to Colne.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson recently told council leaders that Highways England had considered how to get M65 traffic through to Yorkshire, but that the work had stalled.

Congestion on North Valley Road, Colne

Coun. Whipp said: "Colne is the congestion capital of the county. The one million pound project currently underway on the North Valley is mainly cosmetic, with new signing and lining and a little welcome resurfacing. It's not going to make a significant difference to congestion.”

Colne Liberal Coun. Alice Mann recalled attending a presentation on the issue a decade ago.

"There's been so many consultations and reports, there's been red, brown, green, purple, sky blue and even pink routes," she said. "We need to know what's going to happen to address the traffic problems in this area and press all those involved to get this sorted without further delay."

Her colleague Coun. Tony Greaves, who also sits in the House of Lords, said he'd asked Government ministers about the study.

Coun. Greaves read out Baroness Vere's response to the meeting: "Highways England has come to the end of the analytical phase of the study, which has looked at how a number of strategic corridors perform for an enhanced Central Pennines route east of the M65.

"This has used detailed traffic modelling tools to identify benefits, explore potential costs, understand the implications and opportunities for the environment and examine potential economic impacts. Decisions will be made shortly as to how the findings of the study should be addressed."

Following a short debate, Pendle Council passed Coun. Whipp’s motion for this study to be published, and for the Government and transport authorities to identify and implement solutions to the problem of traffic in Colne and communities along the A56 without further delay.