Nearly one year later and fed-up Preston villagers are still living with 'chaos'

They say a lot can happen in year. But in Cottam, that phrase is as alien as an Elon Musk rocket.

Almost 12 months after first expressing their concerns, residents are still frustrated. The state of their roads, which some describe as 'chaos', hasn't changed - despite other parts of the Preston village becoming a hotbed of development.

As new housing estates pop up every few years, the Cottam is getting bigger and bigger. Whilst some say new and affordable housing is a good thing for the community, other things, they fear, are being forgotten. Specifically, the 'neglected' state of the roads have become more of an issue for residents.

In June last year, LancsLive spoke to residents and councillors about Sandy Lane, a main thoroughfare in the village. At the time, John Green said he's been living with the "chaos" for almost two years, as works in the area remain incomplete.

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One issue lies with Taylor Wimpey, a housing developer in Cottam who should be making a start on a car park, located on a corner where Sandy Lane meets Hoyles Lane.

However, it's alleged this cannot be done until sewage problems in the village are fixed.

John, who is also a parish councillor, said: "Sandy Lane is still a problem. The council claim they can't do anything about it until Taylor Wimpey finish the planned car park at the bottom.

John says he has dealt with three punctures in just months because of the potholes on Sandy Lane (James Maloney/LancsLive)
How Sandy Lane has looked over the years -Credit:James Maloney/Lancs Live

"They also say they have no powers to make Taylor Wimpey finish it quicker. To me this could only explain the reasons for the bottom section of the road, there is no reason why they can't resurface the top half.

"The northern section of Sandy Lane (past the cross roads at Maxy pantry) has also been closed for a number of months now because of flooding, which Taylor Wimpey were also required to fix but still haven't and the council hasn't enforced.

"The road now looks open but this I believe is because road users have just moved the signs out of the way as the water has receded. The blockage is still there though as far as I'm aware so will come back again."

Taylor Wimpey say they've been in discussions with Lancashire County over the last few months, regarding the scope of works. As soon as other works nearby and road space is available, issues on Sandy Lane are likely to be worked on towards the end of 2024.

However, the recent flooding is related to a blockage and outside of Taylor Wimpey's remit.

Residents have called the road "diabolical" and "not fit for purpose". One resident said: "It’s dangerous, not fit for purpose and is causing damage to cars."

Another local has lived in Cottam for over four years and says Sandy Lane is "a total mess." They added: "Total frustration! Lived here for over 4 years and it’s a total mess! Interesting that one you go over the bridge to Woodplumpton the roads are excellent! Plus they have all the speed management dealt with. It’s like Cottam doesn’t matter!"

Councillor Green added: " I would just add that this area is going through a massive development program which will take many years to complete. The council can't realistically expect us to put up with these roads for the next five to ten years.

"They need to resurface the road now so it can cope with all the construction traffic for the next five to ten years."

Also fed-up with the state of the roads are the residents who live nearby. Talking last year and again this year, one local says Sandy Lane has been "neglected" and the condition resulted in her needing to replace a tyre on her vehicle at a cost of £184.

Wishing to remain anonymous, she said: "This road has been neglected for about three years. Several ineffective patch up repairs have been carried out, yet the overall road has continued to deteriorate. It is almost impossible to safely cycle from Maxy House Road to Hoyles Lane.

"We needed to have a tyre replaced at the cost of £184, the mechanic gave his opinion that this was possibly caused by the condition of Sandy Lane. Sandy Lane is now also a bus route and as a result has deteriorated even more.

"Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council appear to have no interest in enforcing what we believe was the agreement with them and Taylor Wimpy re this junction and road. I would like to invite members of the council to an arranged visit, date and time notified to residents prior to visit and ask them to drive this road at the speed limit, which is virtually impossible."

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: "We are sorry that works to remediate the section of Sandy Lane for which we are responsible are not yet complete and we appreciate the frustration that this is causing residents. We are working closely with Lancashire County Council and have agreed a new scope of works in response to their request. We are committed to completing these works as quickly as possible."