AN ANGRY ward councillor has slammed Oldham Council for a two-week closure of a key Greenfield road link, claiming residents were not consulted.
A section of Queensway, from its junction with Wellington Road, will be out of bounds from Monday, November 24 while workers link utility connections for a new housing development.
But Cllr John McCann has criticised Oldham Council as he claims no residents were consulted about the huge diversion and no alterative buses have been put in place.
Householders living on Queensway, Carr Lane, Beech Avenue, Wood Square or Lower Carr Lane will face a diversion via Uppermill of more than a mile to drive to Greenfield, Oldham or Ashton.
And there will be no buses on the 354 and 353 routes through Queensway and Carr Lane –leaving residents without a car to walk to Greenfield or Uppermill.
Cllr McCann is demanding the council installs temporary traffic lights instead of closing Queensway to all road traffic.
He insisted: “A single line road could and should remain open while this utility work is undertaken.”
Cllr McCann has received strong support from local residents, including Alan Belmore who said: “There has been no consultation with hundreds of local residents who face a huge diversion.
“There will be no buses for two weeks on the 354 and 353 routes so residents without cars face a long walk to Greenfield or Uppermill. Many elderly residents cannot walk this far.”
Other residents have shown support and come forward with suggestions to ease the diversion, including a temporary reopening of Arthurs Lane.
OMBC Councillor Dave Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “We will have to close Queensway, Greenfield, to enable vital utility works.
“Local diversions will be clearly signed,” he said. “However, motorists are asked to give themselves extra time, especially during peak times.
“Transport for Greater Manchester and First Bus have been consulted and the contractor has been instructed to send letters to residents immediately affected.
“Emergency services, councillors, residents’ associations and Saddleworth Parish Council have all been informed and an information sign at the closure point is being installed to give notification of the closure.”
A First Bus spokesman said: “Utility works don’t always allow the necessary time for consultation and in some cases there are no options on diversionary routes.
“We operate these journeys under tender on behalf of TfGM so we will be working with them and Oldham Council to ensure we operate these services as safely as possible and with minimum disruption to our customers.”
To share your views on the road closure please write to Chief Executive, Oldham Council, Oldham, OL1 1AA or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also let John McCann know by ringing him on 01457 875459 or emailing email@example.com