Village Voice: Concerns raised about ‘needless’ and ‘over-running’ Greenfield roadworks

I HAVE written previously about the junction of Manchester Road (A635)/Well-I-Hole Road and the current scheme to install traffic signals and linked pedestrian, cycle and horse crossings.

I say “current” scheme since the work, initially programmed to take 17 weeks is now in the 26th week – and counting!

Goodness knows what the final cost will be.

The scheme was drawn up as part of the Bee Networks Crossings initiative, but whatever the source of funding, in my view, the cost/benefit will never support signalling this junction and I have been critical of this scheme from the outset.

Road works at Manchester Road in Greenfield

The new pedestrian/cycle and horse crossings could of course be installed quite separately from the junction signals.

Normally, traffic signals, unless they feature to aid emergency services, as part of a tidal flow or other wider traffic management scheme, are installed to address a safety problem and, in doing this, show a realistic cost/benefit in terms of accident and casualty reduction.

Being familiar with this junction and having some experience of traffic signals and junction design, I was interested to learn more of the junction’s safety record.

Using the Greater Manchester database, I discovered there had been only ONE slight injury accident over a three-year period.

So why this junction, when there is simply no real scope for improved safety, and when it is estimated that there are more than a dozen sites in Oldham with a worse accident record?

As well as having higher maintenance costs, a traffic signalled junction can attract its own types of accidents.

What will the council do, when, having monitored the accidents they find that collisions and injuries have increased, which is quite likely? Will it take the signals out? I doubt it.

When this scheme was first being considered, it was reported that, as part of the scheme, the short lengths of 40mph on the approach roads should be reduced to 30mph.

This was an obvious thing to do, and as well as taking away the need for lighting and maintenance of the speed limit signs, could have a greater safety impact than signalling the junction.

But, although this should have happened years ago, when I visited the site last weekend, it still hasn’t been done.

I couldn’t help noticing, however, how efficiently the junction was working – without signals!

Peter Widdall


(Formerly Group Leader, Road Safety and Development Control, Manchester City Council)

VILLAGE VOICE is YOUR chance to get a point of view over to thousands of the Independent’s readers.

Letters should be emailed to

We respect privacy and use nom de plumes by request, but letters will not be printed without full names and addresses being supplied.

The editor reserves the right to edit letters and his decision over publication is final.



2 Replies to “Village Voice: Concerns raised about ‘needless’ and ‘over-running’ Greenfield roadworks”

  1. Absolutely not needed and a complete waste of tax payers money.. when will it be finished.. ??? Sensible driving was all that was required not traffic lights and the hideous ugly fencing at either side of the rd.. how much more ruining of our village are we going to have to take…

  2. It’s comments like above that projects never done, brilliant job , with the amount of traffic on these roads and it will only get worse and the crackpots as well both sex’s you only after look how they approach the bridge, we had it in Diggle no body wanted the school all kind of remarks against, now the in / out what a difference, if you look back people like above was probably against wheelie bins and now we have themweather you like them or not accepted them,
    This guy Mr Widdall what a negative person he comes across as the no all type of person ,he moaned about the roundabout approaching Diggle and now in his professional opinion we didn’t need the traffic lights I can hope he’s at the age where he doesn’t have to oversee any more improvements in Saddleworth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *