The Bickerstaffe Record

Bickerstaffe Thoughts, Cotterill on the Council

Gritting and maintenance on Stopgate and Sineacre Lane

01.21.10 | Comment?

My letter to residents on Stopgate Lane/Sineacre Lane is below.  It’s self-explanatory, and with the usual anonymity courtesy for officers.

 Dear resident

 Gritting and maintenance

Further to resident calls during the recent cold snap I have had yet another go at the County Council over the lack of gritting on Stopgate Lane/Sineacre Lane, and about general maintenance.  I set out my request in the following terms:

Several times in recent years I have raised the issue with your officers of the decision, a few years ago now, to stop gritting Stopgate Lane, Simonswood Parish (Bickerstaffe Ward) from the Knowsley border.   I have simply been told that it is not a priority for gritting.

 In view of the recent accidents on this stretch of road, and in view of its heavy usage by lorries, can I now ask again that the decision not to grit the road be reviewed with all due urgency i.e. not left to an end of season review.  While it is not my normal practice to ask constituents to write in support of my requests for council action, the strength of feeling is such on this now longstanding matter of concern that I am copying residents of the Stopgate Lane/Sidings Lane area into this, so that they may air their views as they feel appropriate.

Further, can I bring to your attention the way in which the road surface on Stopgate Lane and Sineacre Lane (its extension into Bickerstaffe) has deteriorated before and now during the icy weather.  It is impossible for me to judge the extent to which this is simply wear and tear from all the lorries, or is because of the compacting of ice on the ungritted road surface, but it is clear that remedial work is needed.

In your email to me of 27 October (ref: ED/HEM/AS/DC/EL (ED111/9) you indicated that the area would benefit from a programme of permanent patching in November, but to the best of my knowledge this has been limited to one single repair, and this was by no means the worst affected part of the road.

I would be grateful if you would get back to me on these matters when you have checked with officers.  Clearly the gritting matter is the more urgent issue for resolution, and I would like to see immediate change to priority status on Stopgate and Sineacre Lane.

 This is the response I have now received:

Further to our conversation this morning I can confirm that there will be no change in the priority of Stopgate Lane and Sineacre Lane within the present policy.  I am aware of the volume of HGV traffic serving the industrial estate and this is why the roads have been included in the secondary route network.  It was anticipated, prior to these severe conditions, that this season secondary routes would be treated more reasonably within the treatment regime.  The severe weather has meant that we have had to target our resources to the precautionary network only with just one treatment on secondaries prior to Christmas.

The work that has been completed to date on Sineacre Lane is the installation of a new gully near Walkden Cottages.  The patch to which you refer will probably relate to the reinstatement of the connection required for the new gully.

Initially it was proposed to complete patching works on Stopgate Lane from the Knowsley boundary to the industrial estate.  Unfortunately, due the narrow width of the carriageway and volume and size of HGV’s using this section, it would require a road closure or other means to control HGV movement and speed past the works.  A road closure would send additional HGV traffic over sections of Stopgate Lane and Sineacre Lane which are arguably in worse condition.  Consequently, it has been proposed that full width resurfacing should be completed on the section from the bridge over Simonswood Brook to the junction of the lane to Barrow Nook Hall in the first instance. 

It is also proposed to use OM funding and the response team to complete patch repairs, this financial year, to Moss Lane and the northern end of Sineacre Lane.

In addition due to the magnitude of the identified deterioration in this area, Stopgate Lane and Sineacre Lane are included in the identified maintenance schemes for both 2010/11 and 2011/12 and will be programmed once the budgets are confirmed.

While there is some progress therefore as regards maintenance, there remains a reluctance on the part of the council to move this heavily used road into the priority gritting band.  It is unlikely that any further progress will be made on this matter this winter, but I will again ask that it be considered in the post season review of gritting routes, along with other identified ‘hoptspots’ in Bickerstaffe Ward.

If you would like to write to the council yourself on this matter (as I indicated might happened in my letter), you can do so by addressing a letter to:

Director of Environment Services,Executive Director for the Environment, Lancashire County Council, P O Box 100, County Hall, Preston, PR1 OLD

 Or you can send an email to   The response will mostly likely be sent by on of her officers.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on this or any other matter.

 Best regards

 Yours sincerely




Paul Cotterill, Councillor for Bickerstaffe Ward

have your say

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. Subscribe to these comments.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>