Lancashire County Council recently unveiled a wide-ranging vision to transform the transport network in Preston and outer regions over the next dozen or so years.
Consultations start in January looking at major changes to highways, public transport and walking and cycling facilities to create conditions for economic growth.
Called ‘The Highways and Transport Master Plan for Central Lancashire’ it outlines current land and transport use together with the impact of existing proposals for housing and business development, and looks at how it will be funded.
This involves long-term planning to decide the basis of future investment priorities, identifying problems and opportunities on the highway and public transport systems.
It presents a range of scenarios for how people’s daily journey times to work, air quality and road safety could be affected if the network stays largely the same with a minimum of change, or alternatively how major changes to transport infrastructure could unlock economic growth and make it easier for people to travel.
Efficient travel is the key to encourage businesses to invest in Preston and Lancashire. The new plan seeks to identify where on the network future investment will need to be prioritised to stimulate the local economy and prepare for future generations travel needs.
Of interest to Preston citizens the plan includes:
A new road linking the M55 near Bartle with the A583/584 near Clifton to support new housing in North West Preston.
Upgrades to the A582 between Cuerden and the A59 at Penwortham, with the Penwortham Bypass completed with a direct link between the A582 Broad Oak roundabout and A59 west of Penwortham.
Improved public transport priority corridors following all the main routes into Preston city centre, from Moss Side, Hutton, Warton, North West Preston, Broughton, Longridge, and Chorley.
Better facilities such as bus stops and shelters, and changes to junctions, several corridors could also see road space reallocated to public transport with more bus only lanes.
Improvements to the rail station at Preston to extend capacity and make it more attractive
A new ‘parkway’ station to serve North West Preston at Cottam.
Improving access to local shopping areas to stimulate and support local business and encourage healthy and active lifestyles, with more walking, cycling and public transport use.
More space to be given over to pedestrians and to green public spaces, in areas such as Penwortham, Lane Ends, Broughton, Ribbleton Lane and New Hall Lane.
The master plan represents the start of a programme to transform transport infrastructure in Lancashire over the next 13 years and beyond. To be delivered by 2026 this is estimated to cost in the region of £275 million funded by public and private subscription.
Working with all stakeholders and the community the county council will begin a six-week consultation exercise during January and February 2013. The public will be asked to complete a questionnaire, and join in briefings encouraging contributions to the plan.
The Central Lancashire Highways and Transport master plan is the first of a series to cover the whole county.
What are your initial thoughts about the plan? Is this a step in the right direction? Let us know in the comments below