A Conversation for Wigan, Greater Manchester, UK

Wigan - an update

Post 1


1. Getting around
The A49 is by no means "lightly vehicled", believe me, I'm a cyclist. The road links at both ends of town to the M6 motorway. Shops need goods to be delivered, and they come in very, very large trucks.

The A49 has one major congestion hotspot. Just outside the town centre is a major road interchange called the "Saddle Junction", which is second only in complication to a circuit diagram for the International Space Station, but surprisingly efficient. The major drawback of the layout is that the road into the town centre is squeezed from two lanes in each direction, down to one narrow lane in each direction, in order to negotiate the narrow arch of a 120 year old railway bridge. Do not attempt to traverse Saddle Junction when the rugby team are playing a home game!

2. Night life
The night life of Wigan town centre has been well documented in the guide. However, little has been mentioned of King Street. This is a part-time traffic through road, no more than 200 metres long, where every conceivable oportunity has been taken to open a night club or bar. It is said that King Street has more night clubs per linear metre than Las Vegas, though I haven't measured it myself.
The road is closed to road traffic from 7pm to 7am every Friday and Saturday evening, so fed up were the emergency services of scraping drunken bodies off the front of passing cars. Drunken bodies are still scraped off passing cars, just not in King Street.
An alternative nightlife can be experienced in the local hospital's accident & Emergency department. This is usually where people end their evening's fun in King Street.

3. Pies
The Poole's Pies empire is now back in business, albeit on a reduced scale. The sit-down cafe bit on New Market Street is called "Frenchies" and is awfully bad.
Wiganers (including me) are fond of the "Pie-eater" tag, and look upon it with humour: "What's a Wigan Kebab? - Three pies on a stick".

4. Retail outlets
The demolition of the old market hall to make way for the Galleries (yucky name, yucky place) marked a cultural change in the type of shops available. Wigan town centre (as far as the shops are concerned) now looks just like any other town centre. The Galleries is a bland lifeless shopping arcade with a car park on top. You might as well be in Bolton's Marketplace, or Lancaster's Marketgate shopping areas (except that Lancaster's Marketgate has its carpark underground). The soul of Wigan's shopping and market area has gone, along with the many small friendly independent retailers.

5. The people
Wiganers are very proud of their town, its history, sporting acheivements, its sporting and entertainment heroes, and will back it all the way. However, it seems that Merseyside is getting full of people and shipping the overflow to Wigan. Do not be surprised when wandering around town to hear an abundance of Scouse twang.

Wigan - an update

Post 2


YES 300,000 plus in Wigan metro,but as us ho live here no that includes LEIGH AND OTHER AREAS.THE WIGAN WE ho live hear no is aprox half that.
THEREFORE To surport finantly two profesinall teams is brill,and hardly any go to both.
DECENT OUTLYING BUROUGHS,PARBOLD BILLINGE<STANDISH,DECENT relitively cheap areas to live,despite how traffic problems.

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