Work begins on £207m Preston road scheme

By Tim Aldred

25 Oct 2019

Construction has begun on a major new £207m road scheme outside of Preston, scheduled to open in 2023.

The Preston Western Distributor scheme will be constructed on the west side of the city from the M55 motorway to a new junction with Blackpool Road at Lea.

It will add additional capacity and help to reduce congestion and queuing on parts of the road network and be of particular benefit to Fulwood, Ingol, Cottam, Lea and Ashton, and the wider area including the Enterprise Zone at Warton.

The road scheme also includes two new roads connecting to the current and future development of thousands of homes in the Northwest Preston Strategic Housing Site.

Ecological measures will be introduced including new bat roosts, additional great crested newt and toad ponds, barn owl protection measures and new habitats for brown hares and hedgehogs. The design of the viaducts should help to reduce the impact on otter habitats at the Lancaster Canal and Savick Brook.

The scheme will support local economic growth and improve access to the Warton Enterprise Zone.

A ground-breaking ceremony was attended by county councillor Geoff Driver; Jim Carter, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership board member and chair of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council; Harry Hancock, mayor of South Ribble; and Nicola Elsworth from Homes England.

Funding for these new roads is coming from the Department for Transport and the Lancashire Growth Deal, managed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. Further funding comes from Highways England and the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

The scheme is being constructed by Costain Ltd, on behalf of the county council. Costain also built the award-winning Bay Gateway, which links parts of Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham with junction 34 of the M6.

The Preston Western Distributor is the biggest new road programme in the City Deal. City Deal is an agreement between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and Homes England.

Geoff Driver said: "This ambitious £207m scheme will transform the way people in the area live, travel and work. It will particularly benefit people who live or work around the city, as well as further afield, by helping them to get between the motorway network and the city more easily.

"We know that there will be some disruption while these roads are being built, so we ask people to bear with us during the construction. It will be worth it when they open."

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