A scheme to build a long-awaited roundabout at a notorious accident black spot has been delayed to the anger and frustration of local councillors.
Work to build the roundabout at the Pendle Road junction with the A59 was due to start this summer.
However, it will now not begin until next year after plans to build a mini-roundabout on to the new housing development on the Standen Estate were put back.
Ribble Valley Borough Councillor and Lancashire County Councillor Ian Brown said: “Having to wait until next year is totally unacceptable after all the accidents at that junction. And after all the money that has been spent on the roundabout on Chatburn Road, I will be pushing to get answers about this.”
Meanwhile, Lib Dem Leader of the opposition on Ribble Valley Borough Council, Coun. Allan Knox, said: “I am outraged.
“This is the second time a Tory-run council has caved into the developer’s wishes and delayed the building of a roundabout at this accident black spot.”
Work was scheduled to start in April on the mini roundabout which is being built by housing developer Taylor Wimpey. The housing developer, which has been given outline planning permission to build up to 1,040 homes on land at Higher Standen Farm, was supposed to build the mini roundabout prior to work starting on the new houses. And it was scheduled to be completed some time this month.
However, a spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey Manchester told the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times: “We are currently in the process of finalising the infrastructure designs for our development close to the Standen Estate in Clitheroe, of which the mini roundabout is a part of.
“Upon completion of those, which we believe will be around July, we will be in a position to begin the works.”
This is the second time work on the mini roundabout has been delayed. Back in February 2016, Taylor Wimpey asked if it could build the mini roundabout after the 50th home was sold on the site, with members of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee approving the deferral.
This delay means that the county council’s work scheduled to begin in July to construct a new roundabout at the existing staggered junction of the A59 and Pendle Road will now be put back to next year. This work is being funded as part of the planning conditions for the housing development and preparation works for this new roundabout have already been carried out to remove trees before the nesting season began.
“First, we had Tory-run Ribble Valley Borough Council changing the goalposts and allowing 50 houses to be built before we got a roundabout,” Coun. Knox added.
“Now, Tory-run Lancashire County Council, have taken their eye off the ball and not ensured that the developers kept up with the schedule, so that the roundabout could be built on time.”
He continued: “I’m just gobsmacked by the whole thing.
“There seems to be no justification why the mini roundabout has to be done first. Why don’t they go ahead and do the roundabout on to the A59.”
Dwayne Lowe, Lancashire County Council area highways manager for Ribble Valley, said: “This summer Taylor Wimpey is due to construct a mini roundabout to create access to their new site on Pendle Road.
“Once this has been completed we’ll be in a position to construct a new roundabout at the existing staggered junction of the A59 and Pendle Road, which is being funded as part of the planning conditions for the housing development. We carried out some preparation works for the new roundabout this spring by removing some trees before the nesting season began, with the expectation of being able to carry out the scheme this summer.
“However, the work to construct the mini roundabout has since been delayed, which means we have rescheduled our work on the A59 junction for next year.”