New £207m M55 junction opens to the public

By Tim Aldred

03 Jul 2023

M55 Junction

A major new £207m road scheme opens today which links parts of Preston and the Fylde Coast to the M55 motorway.

Edith Rigby Way, the longest and most significant road in the Preston Western Distributor project, links the A583 Blackpool Road and Riversway with the new junction on the M55. 

The new road is named after Edith Rigby in honour of Preston's most famous suffragette, who dedicated most of her life to fighting for women's rights, particularly those of working-class women.

Work on the scheme, which includes two smaller roads, began towards the end of 2019 and took place through the Covid-19 pandemic. These three new roads connect key parts of the city, aim to reduce congestion on the existing road network and unlock new economic opportunities for Preston and Lancashire as a whole.

The scheme includes two smaller link roads: William Young Way and Avice Pimblett Way, which connect to new and existing housing areas of North West Preston and Cottam. 

These two roads are named after Victoria Cross recipient William Young, and Avice Pimblett, who was the first woman town councillor, first woman alderman and first woman mayor of Preston.

The new roads provide direct access to new housing in the area and will support further developments in the future.

The new roads have been constructed by Costain, on behalf of Lancashire County Council, as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

Funding for the new road comes from the Department for Transport and the Lancashire Growth Deal, managed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, with further funding coming from Lancashire County Council, National Highways and City Deal.

Debbie Francis, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s fantastic that the Preston Western Distributor has been officially opened. The scheme has been designed to not only improve our access to the national motorway network, but also open up new housing sites, new industrial sites, and unlock other new commercial opportunities."

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