A SMALL residential road is being used as a "rat run" by motorists who drive at more than double the speed limit, residents say.

Homeowners on Berkeley Road and Old Road, in Astley Bridge, say they have had problems with speeding and parking on the road for years and are calling on the council to help.

Drivers, including those in heavy goods vehicles, appear to be using the two roads as a cut-through to avoid using the traffic lights on the junction of Blackburn Road and Moss Bank Way.

Lynda Eckersley, 66, who has lived in the area for nearly 20 years said she had seen people "absolutely flying" at speeds of up to 50mph on the 20mph stretch of road in front of her home.

"The speed is horrendous," she said.

"They are using it like a rat run. If you get out of your car on the road you are taking your life into your hands.

"There's a few times I have nearly had my door ripped off.

"There are signs up that say 20mph but they just ignore them, there have been many accidents on the bend."

She also complained about parking on the three metre wide street, saying residents, especially those in wheelchairs struggle to get past when cars park close to or on the pavement in order to get out of the way of other speeding vehicles.

In addition to residents, motorists in the area have also impacted on pedestrians who use the road to reach the Asda store on the corner of Blackburn Road and Moss Bank Way.

As a solution, Mrs Eckersley suggested that the route from Berkeley Road through to Old Road be made into a one-way street and road markings be restored.

David Chadwick, Bolton Council's executive member for transport, agreed that speed in the area could be a problem.

He said: "The problem is that a lot of people today see the speed limit as a minimum not a maximum.

"Up there it's a 20mph speed limit and you will see people doing 30, 40 or even more than that.

"The problem with what she wants to do is that you will probably need a traffic regulation order and that can cost £3,500.

"If local councillors can find that money and the put in an application we will consider it."

Anyone who needs to report problems with road markings or street signage in their area should contact the council's Highways Department by calling a representative on 01204 336677.

Alternatively, get in contact by email on highways@bolton.gov.uk.