Organisers of Saturday’s exhibition on traffic congestion in Whalley declared the event a “great success”. Around 200 villagers heard from Mr Ian Richardson, Director of Capita Symonds in Blackburn and from Mr John Threlfall, Business Director of local bus operator Transdev Lancashire United. The exhibition, at Whalley Abbey, was intended to communicate to residents the critical traffic problems faced by the village over the next few years should development plans go ahead.
The study, commissioned by Save Whalley Village using public donations, looked at how traffic would grow under a number of different development scenarios. One considered sites for which applications had been submitted or there had been pre-application discussions with the Borough Council. Mr Richardson explained that by 2021 under this scenario queue lengths approaching the two mini roundabouts in the village would stretch up to 1 km and produce delays for drivers in the region of 15 minutes.
Mr Nick Walker, Chairman of Save Whalley Village explained what it meant for the village: “We now have hard evidence that key junctions are already at capacity. The message from this work is that, whether in 5 years or 15, the road network in Whalley will cease to function effectively. Gridlock will be the result unless a proper plan to mitigate the effects is put in place right now.”
But Mr Walker went on to describe his frustration that residents’ concerns have so far been ignored. “A month ago we sent Lancashire County Council this report and requested a meeting to discuss its findings. We have not even received an acknowledgement to our letter. This speaks volumes about their attitude and frankly LCC should be ashamed.”
Mr Threlfall then gave attendees an insight into a bus operator’s perspective on congestion. Using recent video footage from on-bus cameras he explained that the delays from congestion forced bus operators to put on more buses to maintain the same level of service. This in turn could affect the profitability and even viability of services.
After the presentations residents had the opportunity to ask questions, and look round display boards describing traffic problems in the village and current development plans.
The guess the number of houses competition was won by Wendy Clarkson of Whalley who guessed the exact ammount at 727 green houses. We had 76 guesses giving £38 takings so she wins £19.