October 25, 2014

Planned roadworks in the North West

The following summary of planned new and ongoing road improvements over the coming week is correct as of Friday 24 October and could be subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. All our improvement work is carried out with the aim of causing as little disruption as possible.

M6 Junction 16 Barthomley

Overnight work is underway to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at junction 16 of the M6. The scheme will provide a third lane on the north and southbound exit slip roads and the approach on the A500. Additional traffic lights will also be installed. There will be some overnight closures of slip roads and the A500 and B5078 at different stages of the project. A temporary speed limit of 50mph is also in place, and the project is expected to be completed in December.

M6 Junction 26 Orrell

A major project is taking place at Orrell Interchange, which will see extra lanes and traffic lights added to the junction with the M58 and the A577. The initial stage of work will require overnight closures of the link road between 10pm and 5am. The junction will remain open for vehicles travelling between the M6 and the M58, but a diversion will be in place for local traffic coming on or off the motorways at the interchange. The majority of the work for the rest of the project will take place overnight or at weekends and will require some closures of the southbound slip roads, the roundabout and the link road to the A577.

M6 Junction 31 Preston

The hard shoulder and lane 1 of the motorway are closed near to junction 31 while engineers carry out investigative work using drilling equipment. The work is due to be completed by Friday 31 October.

M6 Junction 32 Broughton Interchange

A project is being carried out to reduce congestion around the motorway junction which connects the M6 to the Blackpool-bound M55. There will be narrow lanes, plus some overnight slip road and carriageway closures until the project is completed in October.

M6 Junction 35 Carnforth to Junction 38 Brough

A scheme is underway to improve drainage on sections of the M6 between junctions 35 and 38. The work requires the closure parts of Lane One on the northbound side of the motorway, 24 hours a day, along with parts of Lane One on the southbound side overnight, between 8pm and 6am. Sections of the hard shoulder will also be closed. The work is due to be completed by mid-November.

M6 Junction 42 to 43 Carlisle

There will be some overnight closures of the northbound and southbound carriageways, between 8pm and 6am, while resurfacing work takes place. The work is due to be completed in October.

M53/M56 Interchange Ellesmere Port

Resurfacing work is taking place at the interchange between junction 15 of the M56 and junction 11 of the M53 during weekends. Some sections of the motorway and slip roads will be closed at weekends from 8pm on Fridays until 10am on Sundays mornings, including all day on Saturdays. Three bridges at the interchange will benefit from the work which also includes replacing the joints which allow the bridge structure to expand or contract with changes in the weather. The project is due to be completed by the end of November.

M56 Junction 12 Runcorn to Junction 14 Helsby

Work is taking place to resurface the westbound carriageway of the M56 between junction 12 at Runcorn and junction 14 at Helsby. The work will also include the replacement of worn road markings on the eastbound carriageway. All of the resurfacing will be done overnight between 10pm and 5am, Mondays to Fridays. Lane closures and some overnight diversions will be in place. During the day, drivers may also notice some hard shoulder closures associated with the work.

M60 Junction 8 Sale to M62 Junction 20 Rochdale

A major scheme is taking place to cut congestion and improve journey times on parts of the M60 and the M62 in Greater Manchester. The first stage of the smart motorway project will see engineers carry out site surveys and ground investigation work, with a 50mph limit in place for the safety of workers and drivers.

M60 Junction 24 Denton

Phase two of the Denton Island improvements is underway at junction 24 of the M60, where the motorway meets the M67 and the A57 a key commuter route into Manchester city centre. The whole project is due to be completed by Friday 19 December with most of the work carried out overnight. Some road and lane closures will be necessary.

A66 Hutton

Resurfacing work will take place over night, between 8pm and 6am, on the A66 at the Hutton and Greystoke junction from Saturday 1 November. The work will focus on resurfacing a right turn lane in the central reservation. One lane will be closed in each direction and a 40mph speed limit will be in place. The project is due to be completed by Monday 3 November.

A66 Chapel Brow

Two schemes to resurface the A66 between the Chapel Brow and Fitz roundabouts and between Sanford and Warcop are due to start on Monday 27 October. Temporary traffic lights and a 40mph speed limit will be in place, and drivers may be led through the roadworks by a contractors vehicle at 10mph overnight, between 8pm and 6am. The work is due to be completed by Sunday 7 December.

A66 Bassenthwaite Lake

The westbound carriageway on the A66 will require a series of closures while the Forestry Commission carries out tree felling at Wythop Forest. A contraflow system will be in place with a lane running in each direction along the eastbound carriageway. Temporary traffic lights will also be used on some occasions. The project is due to be completed by the end of November.

A66 Mungrisdale

Work is taking place to resurface a three-quarter-of-a-mile stretch of the A66 near its junction with the A5091. Temporary traffic lights will operate overnight, between 8pm and 6am, and one of the two climbing lanes on the eastbound side will remain closed during the day. The project is due to be completed by Thursday 6 November.

A483/A55 Roundabout, Chester

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are set to benefit from quicker and safer journeys as part of a major improvement of the A55 and A483 roundabout near Chester. Work to remodel the roundabout, south of the city, is due to be completed by the end of March and will require some overnight closures while the work takes place.

A585 Thornton-Cleveleys

Temporary traffic lights and lane closures are in place on the A585 between West Drive and Bourne Way in Thornton-Cleveleys while work is carried out to covert the road into a dual carriageway. The project is due to be completed in December.

A590 Lindale Hill

Work is taking place to resurface the westbound side of the A590 around Lindale Hill, between Meathop Roundabout and the junction with the B5721 Cartmel Road. A lane closure will be in place along the westbound carriageway during the day with a 40mph speed limit past the roadworks. At times overnight, drivers may be held at temporary traffic lights and asked to follow a contractors vehicle at 10mph.

A5103 Manchester

Sections of the A5103 Princess Parkway and Princess Road in South Manchester will be closed overnight for resurfacing and other maintenance work. The scheme affects the route between Barlow Moor Road at West Didsbury and Sale Road at Northenden. Each side of the road will each be closed for up to three nights between 9pm and 5am, and the work is due to be completed in November.

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October 25, 2014

Exciting car racing rookie Wallace poised to make big impact in 2015

Few car racing newcomers parachute into a category as competitive as the high-profile Ginetta Junior Championship mid-season and make the sort of impact as the one achieved by Southport teenager Benjamin Wallace this year, the 15-year-old scoring in five of the six races he contested.

Arriving in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support series for the sixth event of the 2014 season at Snetterton 300 Circuit in early August with multiple title winning team Hillspeed, the Anglo-German youngster starred with a top 12 finish in only his second race.

Aged just 14-years-old at the time, Wallace had only tested a Ginetta G40 on two occasions prior to his competitive debut but rapidly got up to speed and improved markedly on his championship bow throughout the first weekend.

Going on to race in two further events, the season-concluding rounds at Silverstone National Circuit and Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, the karting graduate proved his Snetterton performance was no fluke by adding a brace of 14th place results to his tally. Wallace was actually on course to match his top 12 best in the opening Silverstone encounter but a five second penalty dropped him to 14th spot.

Out-pacing drivers with significantly more circuit experience, the rookie is now setting his sights on a sustained front-running challenge in Ginetta Junior in 2015 with the priority to secure more funding from commercial partners for his first full season.

I really enjoyed my three weekends in Ginetta Junior this year, I learnt a huge amount with the guys at Hillspeed, with a lot of fantastic support and help from driver coach Matt Shawyer, and they really helped me to improve my driving and competitiveness, commented the talented teenager, Were working really hard to be back on the grid in 2015 and build on the great start we made this season.

Its a tough championship so we need to try and do as much testing as possible over the winter before next season, the biggest challenge though is to try and secure more sponsors. Racing on the BTCC package is fantastic, the crowds are huge and the live TV is obviously something you cant get anywhere else at this level.

While the performances delivered by Wallace across his three race weekends in Ginetta Junior were impressive, theyre all the more noteworthy considering the youngster not only balances his GCSE studies with his racing, he also has Type 1 diabetes.

Ben really has impressed everyone at Hillspeed, commented team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, Weve been fortunate to work with some extremely talented young drivers over the years and Ben is another rookie with a huge amount of promise and ability. To finish in the top 12 on his first ever weekend in cars, with only a couple of days in the Ginetta before that, was quite exceptional.

Ginetta Junior is an incredibly tough championship with such evenly matched cars, so putting a strong winter testing programme together will be of utmost importance to help Ben move further up the grid. Hes undoubtedly an exciting talent and a young driver who would be very beneficial to the marketing strategy of any forward thinking business with a desire to be involved in motorsport.

Wallace will be back in action with Hillspeed on 8th/9th November at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk for the Ginetta Junior Winter Series. The main 2015 season will then commence on 4th/5th April at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.

Jakob Ebrey Photography

Website: www.hillspeed.co.uk
Twitter: @hillspeedracing

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October 25, 2014

Appeal following bank robbery in Tarleton

DETECTIVES are appealing for information following a robbery at a bank in Tarleton.

At around 3pm on Thursday 23 October, a man entered Natwest on Church Road and demanded money from cashiers. A quantity of cash was handed over before the man left the bank and made off in a small dark red hatchback car which is thought to have been waiting for him outside.

Officers believe there were at least two offenders involved in the incident.

The offender who entered the bank is described as a white man aged in his thirties, quite tall with a stocky build and spoke with a Liverpool accent. At the time he was wearing a grey baseball cap with a flat peak, a dark blue hoody with the hood pulled over his cap, a fluorescent yellow high visibility vest which had a hole cut out of the back, dark Adidas tracksuit bottoms with white stripes down the side and dark trainers.

Detective Sergeant Peter Reil of South CID said: The cashiers have understandably been affected by what must have been a terrifying incident for them. Enquiries are underway and we have had a really good response from local businesses and residents so far and I would like to thank them for their help. We are also keen to speak to anyone who may have any information about the incident or the car involved and I would urge them to contact us.

We have a team of detectives investigating this incident supported by local neighbourhood police officers and I would like to reassure people that this type of offence is rare in this area.

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 quoting crime number SC1400487.

Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

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October 24, 2014

‘Germany calling’ – civic trip to borough’s twin town

Journalist's noses usually start to twitch when someone says casually: "but you won't mention that will you?"

It happened a few weeks ago when QLocal reporter Roger Blaxall was at an Ormskirk Community Partnership function and Mayor Doreen Stephenson casually mentioned a official (and above board) trip to one of our twin town's, Erkrath in Germany.

A little embarrassed, she added: "You won't use that as a story will you?"


A jolly? You decide after reading the Council statement (which took a fortnight to arrive) from its PR office: "From Friday 19th Sunday, 21st September, as the guests of the Burgermeister and Council, a civic party attended the town twinning youth games at Erkrath in Germany.

"It comprised the Mayor, her Consort, Councillor Mrs Una Atherley (representing the Leader) accompanied by Councillor Ms Ruth Melling and the Assistant Director Planning (representing the Managing Directors) accompanied by his partner.

"The Councils budget for town twinning has been reduced in recent years. The town twinning games are no longer hosted in West Lancashire, as they used to be every three years.

"Similarly, the team which travel to compete in the Games representing West Lancashire do not receive financial support other than 210 towards the cost of t-shirts. These were worn by the 11 members of the 1026 Air Training Corp Squadron, Ormskirk who were competing at the youth games, as the Boroughs representatives.

"T-shirts were also presented to the participating German and French teams.

"The cost of flights for the Mayor, her Consort, Councillor Atherley and the Assistant Director Planning only, are met by the Council at 959.52 together with the cost of a civic gift at 45."

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October 24, 2014

Normal service ‘soon’ – promise over Aughton store

Owners of the popular Spar mini mart in Town Green have promised service will be back to normal soon after complaints by an Aughton QLocal reader over how it's been run down over the last year or so.

This e mail was received by reporter Roger Blaxall on Monday: "I am an angry customer wanting to make you aware of a situation which is slowly destroying the Spar store in Aughton on Town Green Lane.

"I have been a customer there since I moved to Aughton in the 90's with my wife and children and I have seen the shop grow strength to strength however in recent years the shop has gone downhill and the community aspect has all but gone.

"This has been down to the store's area managers which the members of staff in there have told me about when getting my paper.

"The manageress who was there was lovely and always welcoming and would help you with whatever question you had but then she got moved away to Birkdale outside of the franchise which began the slow decline in the shop.

"Then after three more managers in the space of two years I learnt today that the new manageress was being moved to another store who had eventually brought a bit of life back into the shop.

"However the shop still looks poorly stocked, there is litter all over the front of the shop and the stock is always running out and the management refuse to order any more in case the area managers get annoyed at it.

"I am wanting this to be raised to all the readers of QLocal/ormskirk to see if you would be able to arrange a meeting with the area management to see what they have to say about this issue as they are losing very loyal customers and it would be a shame to see such a valuable asset to the community disappear."

A PR lady from Preston's Alfred Jones called Blaxall today, saying she didn't think the story warranted an official statement.

She did confirm that one member of staff was moved due to personal family matters and that a new temporary manager - who used to work at the Spar at Dingle Belles, Ormskirk - started work there on Monday.

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October 24, 2014

Coronation Court is a home from home for the McGee’s of Lathom

A Lathom couple are among the first of the new residents to settle into Ormskirk's most luxurious retirement apartments.

Pictured with McCarthy Stone staff are the McGees who moved in to Coronation Court on 16th October.

Their reasons for moving?

They wanted a low maintenance lifestyle and piece of mind from a security point of view. They no longer have to tend to a very large garden but have the luxury of having communal gardens where all the garden maintenance is taken care of.

QLocal reporter Roger Blaxall is hoping to meet more of the newcomers soon for a special feature on the complex and its residents for the town's biggest and best community news website.

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October 24, 2014

Appeal for missing Preston teenager

POLICE are appealing for information about a 16 year old girl who is missing from home in Preston.

Shanice Romanienko was last seen at Runshaw College, Leyland, at around midday on Tuesday 21 October but has not been in touch with family or friends since.

PC Lee Grant from Preston Police said: We are becoming increasingly concerned about Shanices whereabouts and I would appeal to anybody that has seen her or knows where she is to contact us on 101. Similarly, I would urge Shanice, if she sees this appeal, to get in touch to let us know she is safe.

Shanice is described as white, 4ft 11ins, slim build with curly, collar length blonde hair that is dyed purple. She was last seen wearing a floral top and black jacket with multi-coloured floral leggings and brown Ugg style boots.

Anyone with any information should call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 1450 of 21st October.

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October 24, 2014

Prince’s Trust Paint The Park

Young adults from across Sefton have helped spruce up Hesketh Park, Southport as part of the Prince's Trust project.

A group of seven spent time in the Green Flag listed park painting the railing in the popular children's play area, painting the lake shelter and other general maintenance.

The Prince's Trust charity was set up by Prince Charles in 1976 to help young people. They run a range of training programmes, provide mentoring support and offer financial grants to build the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged young people.

At the end of the two-week project, the group were presented with special certificates and thanked for all their hard work.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, said: "The Prince's Trust supports young people who are often unemployed, struggling at school or at risk of exclusion.

"The Trusts programmes give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work and their efforts in Hesketh Park have been greatly appreciated.

"They have made a real difference to the way it looks and I hope the experience will have a lasting effect on their future."

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