New signs have begun appearing as the plan to solve congestion in Preston city centre begins.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council unveiled its eight-point plan for Fishergate and the surrounding roads – and is spending money on new signs and a camera monitoring a bus lane.
This comes after the £3.4m European-funded revamp of Fishergate and removing the traffic lights at a number of key junctions.
Since the work finished in 2014 the Fishergate bollard has become the infamous focal point due to Preston drivers regularly knocking it down and sending it rolling off down side streets.
A no-right turn rule was introduced at the top of Butler Street but the county council’s highways chief admitted a quarter, or more, drivers were ignoring the rule and no real enforcement had taken place.
Read more: Human traffic lights return as Fishergate gridlocked once more
From Monday a bus-only section is introduced between the junctions on Fishergate with Butler Street and Corporation Street.
Anyone turning into this section will be hit with a bus lane fine of £60.
A new bus-only section will also be trialled between the Mount Street and Corporation Street section of Fishergate, operating from 11am to 6pm. During this time only buses and taxis can use it.
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And Chapel Street will be opened up to drivers leaving St George’s Shopping Centre where motorists have been trapped for two hours or more during busy weekend shopping days.
Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor John Fillis said: “These proposals should help to improve people’s journeys through the city centre. We’re taking action to address concerns and encourage people to continue to visit Preston.
“Along with helping the current situation, improving access around the city centre will also attract more business investment in the future, which boosts the local economy.
“Around a quarter of drivers are currently ignoring the Butler Street restriction and have continued to turn right. This causes queuing and increases the time it takes people to leave the car parks. This permanent change aims to improve the situation and reduce people’s journey times.”
The one-way traffic on Mount Street will be reversed, allowing traffic to head away from Fishergate. Garden Street will also become one way from Mount Street to Winckley Square.
The existing parking for blue badge holders on Theatre Street will relocate to Fox Street.
Changes to Fishergate and the traffic systems are going to be monitored for six months and then reviewed, with Preston Business Improvement District – who have lobbied for the return of traffic lights and better traffic measures – said they will be ‘keeping a close eye’ on the changes in the run up to Christmas.
What do you think about the Fishergate plans? Will it work? Let us know in the comments below