Work begins on key road into Fylde coast

Work has begun on the construction of a major new road into the Fylde Coast which local leaders say could bring new jobs, housing and investment to the area.

The scheme will improve access between Lytham St Annes and the M55, relieve congestion on smaller local roads, and support the commercial viability of local housing and business development sites.

It will also improve access to the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and as well as the coast's vital leisure and tourism industry.

The link road will connect the existing roundabout at Whitehills Road to the north with Heyhouses Lane near the Cypress Point development site to the south. A parallel footway/cycleway will provide a continuous sustainable transport corridor along the whole length of the new road.

The first phase of the project involves around 18-months of earthworks to prepare the ground for the new road, being carried out by Duo Operations. The road will then be constructed by Lancashire County Council's in-house team.

The road is being funded thanks to contributions from or managed through the Department for Transport, Highways England, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancashire County Council, Fylde Borough Council, Kensington Developments Ltd, and other developers.

A grant of £5.79m was put forward by the Getting Building Fund, which was introduced to speed up construction in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Coun Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Lancashire County Council believes this road will make a huge difference to travel in this area, and is vital to ensure the creation of jobs and homes for local people with the future development which will now be able to take place.

"I know that residents and businesses have been anticipating this moment for many years, and I'm very pleased to be able to say that we're getting on with delivering those better journey times and reduced congestion which the link road will bring.

"The project board for this scheme represents a number of local partners, and it has taken an enormous amount of determination from them to secure the land and funding needed to get us to this point."

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Borough Council, added: "Since the road collapsed in 2013 and was closed as a through route to Whitehills roundabout there have been three different Leaders of Fylde Council and yet this priority has never been off the table.

"Reaching agreement between so many interested parties with competing priorities proved challenging and some local residents, understandably, voiced a view that they did not believe the project was happening until they saw it with their own eyes. I am relieved we are now at that point and the years of negotiations, lobbying and bid-writing has borne fruit."

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