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Preston city centre traffic problems see business group lobbying Lancashire County Council

Posted on - 8th February, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Roads, Transport
The temporary human traffic light in action before Christmas Pic: Tony Worrall

The temporary human traffic light in action before Christmas Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston businesses are lobbying road chiefs about the new layout in the city centre.

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Congestion down Fishergate and the surrounding roads has become a cause for concern.

Preston Business Improvement District said it has been meeting with Lancashire County Council about ‘several suggestions’ for cutting the gridlock that often snarls the city centre roads.

In the run up to Christmas businesses demanded, and helped fund, the introduction of the stop-go team at the bottom end of Fishergate where it joins Corporation Street and Butler Street.

This followed shoppers in November spending more than two hours trapped in city centre car parks during the weekends.

Andrew Stringer, Chair of BID’s City Retail Forum and manager of St. George’s Shopping Centre said: ‘The city centre is an attractive and modern shopping environment which is experiencing higher volumes of traffic than in previous years.

“In order to ensure Preston remains a choice destination at all times throughout the year, we need to make sure customers can enter and exit the city centre with minimum delays.”

The county council announced in late January the Fishergate roadworks were to resume at the top end of the road where it meets Church Street and then round to the Harris and into Lancaster Road.

Fishergate’s layout has been criticised by motorists, particularly the roundabout/plinths/junction with Corporation Street – where the plinths are regularly knocked down by drivers.

Keith Mitchell, manager of the Fishergate Shopping Centre, said: “we welcome entering into dialogue with the County Council and hope that through this partnership we can deliver a positive result to this ever increasing problem.”

Easterly view of the completed new look Fishergate with it's 'shared space' highway

Easterly view of the completed new look Fishergate with it’s ‘shared space’ highway

Beverley Wilkes, Manager of Debenhams and part of the City Retail Forum said: ‘Customers are our priority. It is vital that the customer experience is enjoyable and problem free.

“The city centre is attractive, safe and provides the perfect offering to shoppers and visitors alike.

“However, as a matter of priority it is essential to rectify these traffic issues and provide a long-term solution. We are happy to be working alongside BID and the city’s key retailers in calling for improvement measures to be implemented.”

A spokesman for Preston BID said at this stage they could not say what ‘suggestions’ were being discussed for improving the traffic flow.

They are due to meet with the county council again in the coming weeks to discuss the congestion situation.

Do you drive in the city centre? What do you think of the traffic suggestion? Let us know in the comments below

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