Posts Tagged ‘Bolton’

Car Park

January 2nd, 2012 No comments
Car Park

Crown Lane/Vale Avenue Weight Restrictions

November 15th, 2011 No comments

In 2006, prompted by residents’ concerns about the level and speed of HGV traffic on Crown Lane, Horwich, Bolton Council instigated an experimental weight limit on Crown Lane coupled with two sets of congestion creating, sorry ‘traffic calming’ chicanes.

Fortunately, six months later after causing long queues on Crown Lane, the chicanes were removed, however the experimental weight limit was made a permanent order (shown in red on the map below).

The effectiveness of this weight restriction has in reality been rather limited and has unfortunately had an unintended side effect.

Crown Lane from Tanners Brow

In 2007 at the time of the review of the experimental limit, two of the firms on Crown Lane who use HGVs, objected to the weight limit. Bolton Council quite rightly pointed out that the limit would not affect them as it only restricted through traffic. Access to premises on Crown Lane is still permitted, and here’s the first issue – The majority of the HGV traffic that uses Crown Lane, does so to access premises on Crown Lane and has not been reduced by the weight limit being imposed. There was very little through traffic to remove.

The existence of this limit has also had a side effect. Prior to the introduction of the weight limit on Crown Lane there was a pre-existing limit on Mason Street/Vale Avenue (shown in blue on the map above). The addition of the newer limit on Crown Lane has effectively created a larger limit which has merged with that on Vale Avenue. Although technically two separate limits, I have noticed an increase in HGVs using Mason Street/Vale Avenue to access premises on Crown Lane. Bolton Council state that “Enforcement of weight limits is a matter for the police. However, the police have limited resources to enforce this type of restriction”. Even if the police do stop a HGV driver on Vale Avenue, he can innocently claim that his destination is within the extent of the weight limit.

From the map above, it is clear that the businesses that are the origin and destination of the HGV traffic (shaded yellow) are all at the SW end of Crown Lane/Station Road. If the Council’s intention really was to limit the amount of HGV traffic on Crown Lane, then they should have restricted the weight limit to north of Vale Avenue. That would have been extremely effective at cutting HGV traffic past the residential properties on Crown Lane but would have meant HGVs travelling ‘the long way round’ via the narrow Blackrod Station railway bridge, the A6, De Havilland Way and Chorley New Road, adding to congestion on that route.

Crown Lane is after all a classified road (the B5238), intended to link Horwich to Blackrod. Unlike Mason Street/Vale Avenue, it is not a minor road being used as a rat-run; at the same time I sympathise with Crown Lane residents as it was not built to handle the traffic from the over-development (both commercial and residential) at the southern end of Crown Lane/Station Road.

I do not feel that the limit on Crown Lane achieves any material benefit; the vast majority of HGV traffic using Crown Lane is legally exempt and the existence of the limit undermines the effectiveness of the previously existing limit on Vale Avenue/Mason Street.

Haigh, Aspull & Blackrod Vintage Ploughing Match

September 25th, 2011 No comments

The Haigh, Aspull & Blackrod Vintage Ploughing match was held today at Brinsop Hall Farm, Westhoughton. Having passed the sign on the A6 (right), I was curious and went along.

The competition is divided into six classes: trailer ploughs, vintage hydraulic, classic, novice, juniors (13-18 year olds) and Ferguson tractor & plough.

More photos are available on my flickr account.

Greenwood Arms to make way for mini-mart and houses?

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

Greenwood ArmsThe Greenwood Arms on Chorley New Road, Horwich could be demolished and replaced with new houses and shops according to a planning application submitted to Bolton Council.

The application proposes the demolition of the Greenwood Arms public house; erection of twelve four bedroom houses (ten semis and two detached), roughly on the site of the existing bowling green; and four retail units, one of which appears to be a Spar, on the site of the current pub building.

UPDATE: according to the Bolton News, the pub is only currently trading to avoid vandalism to the building.

June/July Events in Horwich and Blackrod (2011)

June 13th, 2011 No comments

Horwich Carnival RacesThree dates for your diaries on the next three weekends if you live in Horwich or Blackrod.

Horwich Festival of Racing – 19th June

Following last year’s event taking place on a different weekend to the Horwich Carnival, Horwich Carnival Races has changed its name to Horwich Festival of Racing and will be be held this year on Sunday 19th June.

According to the new website, the change in title “reflects that it now takes place on a different weekend to the Carnival and further embraces both sporting excellence and community participation across a range of events and activities.”

Various running and cycling races for different ages and abilities, both serious and fun are held on the streets of Horwich and this year’s timetable is here. A handful of photos from a few years ago are here. A number of road closures will be in place for the races.

Horwich Carnival & Parade – 26th June

Horwich Carnival Parade will be held this year on Sunday 26th June from 12pm.

Blackrod Scarecrow Festival – 2nd/3rd July

Blackrod’s annual Scarecrow Festival will be held on Sat/Sun 2nd/3rd July. Scarecrows are scattered around the gardens and businesses of Blackrod; you can pick up a map on the day.

Blackrod Scarecrows

Dickinson’s Fire, Blackrod

August 3rd, 2010 No comments

One of the buildings at Dickinson’s (Station Road, Blackrod) has been ablaze this evening sending a large plume of black smoke across Bolton. At the height of the fire, Greater Manchester Fire Service had eight fire appliances and two aerial platforms in attendance with the support of two appliances from neighbouring Lancashire Fire Service.

Dickinson's Fire
Dickinson's Fire from Moss Lane Dickinson's Fire Fire Engines arriving at Dickinson's Fire, Station Road

More photos on my Flickr account and also some taken looking down from Blackrod on the Blackrod and Horwich Environmental Action Group site.

More details on the Bolton News Website, who have also published four of my photos.

Blackrod Scarecrow Festival Pics 2010

July 4th, 2010 No comments

It’s Blackrod Scarecrow Festival this weekend:

Blackrod Scarecrows

Lots more photos on my Flickr page.

June/July Events in Horwich and Blackrod (2010)

May 15th, 2010 No comments

Horwich Carnival RacesThree dates for your diaries in the next two months if you live in Horwich or Blackrod.

Horwich Carnival Races – 20th June

Horwich Carnival Races will be held this year on Sunday 20th June.
Various running and cycling races for different ages and abilities, both serious and fun are held on the streets of Horwich and this year’s provisional timetable is here. A handful of photos from two years ago are here.

Blackrod Scarecrow Festival – 3rd/4th July

Blackrod Scarecrows - 3 little pigsThis year’s festival promises to be the biggest ever, according to St. Katherine’s Church, the organisers of the festival. At the close of registration 89 scarecrows had been promised. You can pick up a map guide in Blackrod on the day.

Horwich Carnival – 4th July

Horwich Morris MenWhile the Carnival has in previous years been held on the same weekend as the races, this year it is on the same weekend as the scarecrow festival – 4th July.
According to the Bolton News there will also be a record attempt at the largest number of zombies in a parade.

Bolton Steam Museum Open Day May 2010

May 7th, 2010 No comments

Bolton Steam Museum will be holding another of their open days on 30th and 31st May, where you can see their collection in full steam. Admission is free, although donations towards the running of the boiler are appreciated.

More details here. More photos of the museum here.

Blackrod Station sidelined again

November 14th, 2009 No comments

Blackrod StationAccording to the Bolton News, six railway station in Bolton have been identified by Network Rail as those most in need of improvement. Not surprisingly, once again, Blackrod station is missing from that list. (Full National list here)

Can someone please explain why Lostock station, which has both a ticket office and live train information screens, is on the list of six stations earmarked for improvements, when Blackrod with neither of these basic facilities is not? I’m not saying Lostock should not receive investment (particularly in reinstating the Wigan platforms short-sightedly removed in the past) but surely Blackrod station is in more need.

Given the lack of respect Blackrod station is given on the timetabled service, the cynic in me would guess that secretly Network Rail will be thinking “Why spend money on a station we’re trying to close down by reducing the service?”.

Network Rail are running a survey about station improvements. If you feel Blackrod (or an other station) deserves better, go to and make your views known.