Call for traffic light changes in South Ribble

Changing the timing of the traffic lights at some of South Ribble's worst bottlenecks could help ease congestion and improve the borough’s air quality.

That was the claim from South Ribble Council leader Paul Foster, who said he was pressing highways bosses to alter the phasing of the signals at several junctions across the district.

Junction of School Lane and Golden Hill Lane, Leyland

Junction of School Lane and Golden Hill Lane, Leyland

But a cabinet meeting heard that the authority could be faced with a bill of £50,000 for the work from Lancashire County Council.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that the lights are located in South Ribble’s air quality management areas - local zones within the borough which have been recorded as previously having breached air pollution standards.

“We’ve got an issue in South Ribble with the sequencing of traffic lights in some of the air quality hotspots. Re-sequencing [them] could make huge improvements to that air quality.

“When we’ve highlighted this to Lancashire County Council - which is the statutory body responsible - they want us to pay £50,000 for them to do it.

“But these are issues we’re pushing hard on [in order] to improve our environment,” Cllr Foster said.

Officers from both authorities were meeting last week to discuss the issue.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "There are a number of ways to improve air quality in areas where there are issues with traffic congestion, with each location having its own unique circumstances.

"In general terms, these measures include reducing traffic volumes, improving traffic flow, and providing alternatives to car use. We will be working with the borough council to identify the most effective options to improve air quality in South Ribble."

Opposition South Ribble councillor Phil Smith told cabinet members that County Hall was one of the “responsible authorities” signed up to the district’s air quality management plan.

“I suggest that if we need to use any persuasion, that would be a good thing to try,” Cllr Smith said.

TIME FOR A CHANGE?

There are five air quality management areas (AQMAs) in South Ribble - each containing some of the borough’s busiest traffic light-controlled junctions.

Leyland - Golden Hill Lane/School Lane and Golden Hill Lane/Leyland Lane (Tiger Junction)

Bamber Bridge - Station Road/Brownedge Lane

Lostock Hall - Brownedge Road/Leyland Road

Walton-le-Dale - Victoria Road/London Way

Penwortham - Liverpool Road/Cop Lane (traffic now likely to be reduced following completion of the Penwortham bypass)