City deal has created jobs and homes

It's just over a year since the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal was launched, and the first stages of work have already brought benefits to the area.

The City Deal was officially launched in June last year by Lord Heseltine, following agreement between Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Jim Carter, chair of the City Deal, said: "In the relatively short space of time since it was launched, people are already benefiting from these plans, with much more to come.

"As well as planning for future developments, people will see immediate benefits from the work that's been taking place, including shorter journey times, less congestion and improved safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Communities secretary Greg Clark MP said: “This City Deal is providing huge opportunities for people in Lancashire and is already improving local road links. It demonstrates how the strengths of an area can be harnessed by local councils and businesses working positively with the Government to boost the local economy.

The most visible signs of the work that's already taken place are along the A582 in South Ribble, which links the centre of Preston to the motorway network, where junctions are being improved and sections of road widened to create a dual-carriageway, as part of £45m improvement plans for this road.

According to comments from the public, travel times into the city centre at peak times have already reduced by around 10 to 15 minutes.

And work is continuing to regenerate Preston city centre, with the first phase of improvements to Fishergate completed, and the second £6m phase of improvements underway, as well as the recently announced plans for Preston Bus Station.

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