A major road scheme to the west of Preston has received the final funding from the government to make it happen.Advertisement
The £200m Preston Western Distributor will run from the M55 motorway to a new junction with Blackpool Road at Lea.
It will particularly benefit areas of the city including Fulwood, Ingol, Cottam, Lea and Ashton, and the wider area including the Enterprise Zone at Warton.
The road scheme also includes two new roads connecting to the current and future development of thousands of homes in the Northwest Preston Strategic Housing Site.
These new roads will add additional capacity and help to reduce congestion and queuing on parts of the road network.
County Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a major new road scheme that will significantly improve access around the city, as well as creating a new connection onto the national motorway network.
“We’re delighted that the government has confirmed the final funding that we need to deliver these roads. We can now commence the construction work very soon.
“This road scheme will open up new business opportunities, improve access to existing and proposed housing sites and reduce congestion on other parts of the network by providing more options for how people can get around.”
Read more: Transport news from Blog Preston
Baroness Vere, Roads Minister, said: “Getting stuck in traffic is hugely frustrating for motorists, and creates poor air quality for those living and working in the area.
“That’s why I am delighted that work will start very soon on this transformative road scheme, which will not only save motorists time, but will also benefit the wider community through new jobs, more homes, and better air quality.”
The Preston Western Distributor Scheme is part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
This is an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and Homes England.
Jim Carter, Chair of the City Deal, said: “We aim to grow the economy by helping people to get around, as well as supporting new economic growth and encouraging new businesses to come to Lancashire.
“These new roads will connect with sites for new homes, which are needed as we grow our economy and new jobs are created. It’s important for the public and private sectors to work together to unlock the potential of the area for people who live and work here.”
Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, said: “This is fantastic for Preston and will be welcome news to commuters travelling in and around the region.
“Taking the pressure off the current road network is a priority for the infrastructure projects of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and should enable smoother and shorter journey times for everyone.”
Funding for these new roads is coming from the Department for Transport, City Deal, Highways England and the Lancashire Growth Deal.
Steve Fogg, Chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is excellent news for the county and a massive boost to central Lancashire’s economy, both in general business activity through greater connectivity to the west coast and the wider motorway network, and in opening up opportunities for housing.
“The LEP successfully secured £58m funding for the Preston Western Distributor and will continue to invest Growth Deal funds in strategically important projects across the county.”
Some preparatory work has now started to take place, ahead of construction starting later this year.
Read more: Old cottages on Preston Western Distributor route being dug out
The Preston Western Distributor scheme is scheduled to open in 2023.
City Deal is helping to deliver new infrastructure, new homes and more jobs. It will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.
Stay updated on City Deal schemes by following @LancsCityDeal on twitter.
Find out about the Preston Western Distributor Scheme here.
What do you think of the new scheme? Let us know in the comments section.