MOTORISTS are set to be quizzed about plans to ease traffic congestion across East Lancashire – in the middle of major hold-ups on the M65.
But Lancashire County Council roads bosses insist they cannot wait until the works have been completed in December to conduct surveys designed to tackle logjams on the motorway and surrounding road networks.
Controversial plans for a bypass, running either side of Barrowford Reservoir and emerging at a point beyond Foulridge, have been suggested.
Specialist highway consultants have been enlisted to carry out surveys for the East Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan, but their exact locations will not be revealed so drivers do not purposely avoid the exercise.
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Oliver Starkey, highways manager for East Lancashire, said: “We'll be asking drivers to give us a couple of minutes of their time to tell us about their journey that day, which is vital for us to understand more about travel patterns and develop solutions to congestion problems.
“The information we have at the moment allows us to progress smaller schemes in the short term but we really need to develop a broader knowledge of people’s travel habits to understand the best approach to take in the long term.
“We're conscious of the fact that these surveys will be taking place at the same time as we’re doing vital work on the M65, but we are doing them at a time when this disruption will be as small as possible.”
Motorists will be surveyed in Pendle and Ribble Valley, where a growth corridor study will focus on the A59 between Samlesbury and North Yorkshire, and routes between Whalley and the M65.
Coun Joe Cooney, Pendle Council leader, said: “I am pleased that some early steps are being taken towards getting the bypass, which has been needed for a long time. Some short-term pain will hopefully be productive in the long-run.”