Traffic in Whalley could descend ‘into chaos’ if something is not done to ease the problems with congestion, parking and air pollution, an independent survey has found.
Residents have become so concerned about the problems, the Save Whalley Action group, has paid for an independent traffic survey, by Capita Simmons to identify how the problems will increase over the coming years.
More than 200 residents gathered at Whalley Abbey on Saturday to hear the results of the survey.
The issues have arisen after Dennis Wilson Homes submitted an application to Ribble Valley Council to create a new housing development by 2021.
This application combined with other projected plans, could mean 1,217 news houses in the village in the next nine years.
Ian Richardson, Director of Capita Symonds explained that by 2021 under this scenario queue lengths approaching the two mini roundabouts in the village would stretch up to one km and produce delays for drivers in the region of 15 minutes.
He said: “Whalley’s road network is close to saturation already.
“If something is not done to ease the problem, when the network is put under this extra pressure it will descend into chaos.
“Traffic is like water. It finds the path of least resistance, it will move on to roads less commonly used and flood the entire network.”
As well as the issues with congestion and parking, residents also expressed concerns that extra housing will devalue the village’s heritage, prevent Whalley children attending the already over subscribed primary school and increase air pollution.
Nick Walker, Chairman of Save Whalley Village, said: “We now have hard evidence that key junctions are already at capacity. The message from this work is that within a few years 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.
“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.”
He also said that group was particularly worried about pollution at the roundabout on King Street where it meets with Accrington Road.
For more information about the survey, visit www.savewhalleyvillage.org.uk