Bay Gateway opens to traffic

The Bay Gateway has opened to traffic, linking the Heysham peninsula to the M6 at junction 34.

Funded by £29m from Lancashire County Council and £111m from the Department for Transport, the road has been under construction since January 2014 by Costain.

The road has already brought economic benefits to the area, with over 100 local long-term unemployed people being trained and employed during construction. It is predicted that for every £1 invested in the road, the local economy will benefit by £4.

Work on the entire project is due to be completed during spring 2017, with aspects such as landscaping, motorway communications, and signing due to be finished over the winter.

"This has always been far more than just a road building project - it will have a far reaching impact right across the county and beyond – not only reducing journey times, but transforming opportunities for businesses and people seeking employment.

Andrew Jones, parliamentary under secretary of state for transport, said: "Roads are key to helping people get on and get around and boosting the economy, and the government is investing a record £15bn to improve journeys.

County councillor Mein added: "Lancashire County Council has a proud history of road building – the Preston bypass which opened in 1958 was the first stretch of motorway in the UK. The Bay Gateway is another significant improvement to our transport infrastructure.

"Weather permitting, we expect all activity to be completed by spring 2017 when we will hold events to mark its official opening."

More than 4,000 people took the chance to walk the length of the route on Saturday 29 October, with Lancashire County Council and Costain teaming up with St John’s Hospice in Lancaster to organise a community walk along the route of the link road, to raise money for the hospice and other local charities.

Heysham port, the third largest in the North West, is developing as a hub for services to Ireland. It is the supply base for major offshore gas fields and wind farms. The road will reduce congestion in the Lancaster area especially on Caton Road, Morecambe Road and the Greyhound and Skerton bridges, and in Carnforth.

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