CONCERNS over temporary traffic lights affecting a town centre have been raised after a councillor was forced to turn away after waiting an hour in traffic.

Cllr Alan Neal, who represents Whitworth on Rossendale Council, was forced to abandon his shopping trip to Rawtenstall after being caught on five sets of temporary traffic lights while travelling from Waterfoot.

The councillor ran into traffic lights on Newchurch Road, Booth Road, and Bacup Road, a seven-mile trip.

Cllr Neal said after being stuck in traffic for more than an hour he had no other choice but to turn away from Rawtenstall and go elsewhere, sparking concern others may do the same.

He said: “If I felt the need to abandon the trip, it means Rawtenstall has missed out on trade.

“There must be others doing the same and I’m worried there’s lots of shop keepers and small businesses losing money.

“We don’t want to stop people coming to Rawtenstall because its easier to go somewhere else.

“I don’t know why Lancashire County Council decided to let all these works go ahead.

“They all seem to be works taking place on pavements, so it’s not even to fix the roads.

“I was caught in traffic and it wasn’t rush hour so I dread to think what rush hour would have been like.”

The works include restoring a water supply in Newchurch Road, rebuilding a dry stone wall in Booth Road and planned gas-related work in Bacup Road.

Gary Greenwood, street works manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “We understand it can be frustrating for motorists when there is more than one set of roadworks at one time on their regular routes.

“We do think carefully about when to carry out works and sometimes we coincide them at times when there is less traffic, such as during the school holidays.

“However we have very little or no control over some works, such as when a utilities company has to carry out urgent repairs, and this accounts for two sets of temporary lights currently in place on Bacup Road and Newchurch Road, where United Utilities are carrying out unplanned work to restore supplies.

“We’d ask people to bear with the situation this week, as this emergency work, along with some planned work to a dry stone wall on Booth Road, is due to be finished by the start of next week.”