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Road chaos in Blackburn caused by missing traffic light part
ONE of Blackburn’s busiest junctions has been in a state of chaos for almost eight weeks because the traffic lights are missing a vital part.
The council has ordered a replacement but is still waiting for it.
There have been a series of bumps and near misses at the uncontrolled junction of Earl Street and Whalley Range in Bastwell.
Resident and former councillor Hussain Akhtar, who chairs an action group of shopkeepers on Whalley Range Bazaar, said: ”It’s ridiculous. They say they’re waiting for a small part. Somebody’s life is worth more than a small part.”
The controller which operates the timing signals of the traffic lights was damaged in a road accident and, as it could not be repaired, a new one needs to be made.
Residents, councillors and business people have called for the lights to be fixed before a serious accident happens.
Mr Akhtar said: “Just yesterday, somebody said to me that his bumper had been bumped.
“We’re very upset about it. It’s causing absolute traffic chaos and it’s been going on for too long.”
The part is being manufactured by Siemens in Poole, Dorset, but a spokesman for Blackburn with Darwen Council said that he was unaware how much the part cost or why it was taking so long.
He said the delay could possibly be because Siemens manufactures equipment for traffic lights across the country.
Residents have reported seeing a number of small collisions at the junction, and they have expressed concern that somebody could be injured if the lights are not fixed.
Mr Akhtar said local businesses were being affected, as drivers were avoiding the area.
He said: “Business people are suffering. I’ve asked the highways department to fix the traffic lights. It’s been been two months now.
“I rang the council and they said that somebody would ring me back but nobody did.
“People stop me and ask what’s going on. Cars are bumping into each other there. We don’t want to wait until somebody dies for something to be done.
“If they don’t do something soon, we’ll get the part and fix the lights ourselves.”
Bastwell councillor Shaukat Hussain said he had raised the issue with Capita, the company which looks after highways for the council.
He said: “There have been quite a few near misses. There’s going to be a big accident round there.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints about this issue. I’ve chased it up again but they’ve said it’ll take another two or three weeks.
”We’re constantly on their backs trying to get it sorted. It’s a major junction and it’s also used by people coming in and out of town.
“The council is doing its best, but there was some issue with the insurance and we have to wait for this part and it’s taken a lot longer than we anticipated.”
Because of concerns raised, Blackburn with Darwen Council has put up extra signage to warn motorists to take extra care.
Executive member for regeneration, Councillor Maureen Bateson said: "These traffic lights were severely damaged in a road traffic crash and we are now waiting for replacement equipment to be manufactured to get them fixed.
“I would urge drivers to take note of the additional signs we have put up which warn people to give way and be cautious when driving through this area.”
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said minor accidents may have gone unreported but she said there had been a collision on July 23 and a member of the public said the traffic lights were out and causing problems.
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