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New figures reveal true extent of 'chaos' hitting drivers on nightmare road

A busy stretch of road was plagued with temporary traffic lights for 100 days in 2023 - leaving many residents sitting in snaking queues on a regular basis.

A freedom of Information request (FOI) submitted to Rochdale Council revealed that the A58, between Albert Royds Street roundabout and the junction with Hollingworth Road, had temporary traffic lights in place for almost a third of the time last year (100 out of 365 days). This section of road is the main route used by motorists travelling between Rochdale and Littleborough.

According to Coun Tom Besford, this regularly brings Littleborough to a standstill.

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The Littleborough Lakeside representative believes companies such as IX Wireless and United Utilities need to be hit with heavier fines for breaching their permit times to incentivise speedier work. He claimed that the council tries to put restrictions on each contract such as removing lights out of hours or staffing the lights at peak times, but utility companies can simply ignore this by paying a fine capped at £120.

Coun Besford wants to see council powers increased by the government so they can fine companies thousands for breaching these permits, and has started a petition calling on Whitehall to address this.

He said: “This road is the primary thoroughfare between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. When there are temporary lights along this stretch of road, chaos and gridlock inevitably accompany them.

“These private utility companies have prioritised shareholder profit over keeping the infrastructure in good nick. When the ageing pipework fails, they have a legal right to dig up our roads.

“The council