Preston bids for £182m infrastructure funds

Lancashire County Council has submitted a bid for £182m from the Transforming Cities Fund which will be used to improve transport infrastructure in and around Preston.

Projects earmarked for investment are a parkway railway station at Cottam, a new crossing of the Ribble at Avenham Park, enhancements to the city centre's main streets including Fishergate and Friargate, additional capacity for the A6/A59 Ringway and improved cycling and walking links.

The concept plans have been submitted to the government for consideration in the form of a strategic outline business case.

Last year Preston was shortlisted as one of just 12 city regions nationwide, with the prospect of receiving a share of £1.2 billion in the government's Transforming Cities Fund.

This latest bid is supported by partner organisations from the public sector, including Preston City Council and South Ribble Borough Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), and local bus and rail providers.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "These are really exciting plans for the Preston area and I am very hopeful that the Department for Transport will look on them favourably.

The Preston area has been a real economic success story in recent years.

"The Preston area has been a real economic success story in recent years and these plans would allow us to build on the good work of the City Deal."

"If successful the bid would deliver a substantial and interlinked package of sustainable and active travel measures using the latest technology and learning from pioneering examples of good practice from this country and abroad, helping people to move in and around the city more easily.

"It would also promote low carbon journeys, help tackle air pollution and boost healthier lifestyles by encouraging people to walk and cycle more."

Councillor Bill Evans, cabinet member for Planning, Regeneration and City Deal for South Ribble Borough Council, said: "We are confident that the proposals put forward represent a really strong case for Preston and the surrounding areas – including towns such as Penwortham and Walton-le-Dale on our side of the River Ribble – to receive this funding."

Michael Ahern, chief information and infrastructure officer at UCLan, said: “As a major economic anchor institution in the City of Preston, UCLan fully supports the exciting ambitions of these proposals that complement the wider economic benefits of our £200m Masterplan.

“A major factor in achieving our construction objectives on time and on budget has been the close partnership and collaborative working between the city, county and university."

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