Transport for Lancashire approves Preston Western Distributor plans

Plans for a new Preston Western Distributor road scheme moved a step closer after Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s local transport body gave its conditional funding approval.

Preston Western DistributorTransport for Lancashire found that the proposed £161m project, which will add a junction to the M55, demonstrates high value for money.

The Full Business Case will also need the approval of the Secretary of State for Transport. It is expected that the Full Business Case will be presented for approval in 2019, with construction scheduled to start on site in Autumn 2019.

The Preston Western Distributor is a 4.3km dual carriageway that will connect the A583 Blackpool Road with the M55 at a new Junction 2, near Bartle.

County councillor Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council said: “This road will provide a major new link on the western side of the city, from the M55 towards Blackpool Road and Riversway.

“It will support new housing and business development in the area, provide relief to traffic pressures at junction one of the M55, and reduce congestion in the city centre.

“There will also be opportunities for new bus priority measures, improvements to local public areas and initiatives to encourage walking and cycling.

“This is an important new road for Preston, as well the wider area, improving connections to the Fylde Coast and further afield, especially the national motorway network.”

A single carriageway road will also be created to Cottam Way. Known as the Cottam Link Road, it will join the Preston Western Distributor just north of the Lancaster Canal.

The scheme will also include an East-West Link Road, a 3.4km long single carriageway road linking Lightfoot Lane to the Preston Western Distributor, with separate footways and cycleways along its entire length.

The plans will also facilitate the construction of a new ‘parkway’ railway station at Cottam, on the Preston to Blackpool North line, with park and ride opportunities to the city centre and Blackpool, and further afield to places such as Manchester and Liverpool.

These new roads will support the delivery of the North West Preston strategic housing location which includes around 5,000 homes, and also improve access between the Enterprise Zone site at Warton and the wider road network.

Funding for the new road is coming from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund, through the Lancashire Growth Deal, as well as Highways England and City Deal.

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