The new Penwortham bypass is set to open on Monday 2 December – a month earlier than expected.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council has announced the new opening date for the road, which its highways team is building, as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
The road had been scheduled to open in the New Year, but will now open earlier thanks to the hard work of the team building it.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We know that this is an important moment for Penwortham and the surrounding area, as people have been waiting many years for a solution to the daily congestion issues affecting Liverpool Road and the centre of the town, and it’s now nearly here.
“Aside from any unforeseen circumstances, we’ll open John Horrocks Way on Monday 2 December for people to use.”
Read more: Penwortham bypass has officially been named
Coinciding with the opening on Monday 2 December, a section of Liverpool Road will close for three weeks, while the final work is carried out on the junction with the new road. This can only be done once John Horrocks Way has opened and traffic levels have reduced along Liverpool Road.
Existing cycling and walking routes along the northern side of Liverpool Road, near Howick Cross Lane, will remain open during this time.
The work will affect anyone travelling on Liverpool Road between the new bypass and the junction with Howick Cross Lane. There’ll be no access during this time onto Howick Cross Lane and Howick Moor Lane from Liverpool Road itself, with local diversions in place.
The recommended closure of the slip road from Liverpool Road onto the Guild Way flyover will be discussed at next week’s Cabinet meeting (7 November).
This proposed slip road closure is part of a series of measures designed to discourage through traffic on Liverpool Road and promote the use of the bypass, to ensure the traffic reduction benefits to noise and air quality in the residential and retail areas of Penwortham are achieved.
Read more: Major changes planned for Liverpool Road once bypass opens
The slip road closure will also benefit traffic flow along Golden Way and along the flyover towards Preston.
Work is currently taking place at the junction of Liverpool Road and Leyland Road to provide for local traffic using the Guild Way flyover and to encourage drivers travelling out of Preston to use Golden Way once the new bypass opens.
Among other changes, there will be better provision for cyclists, the speed limit through Penwortham town centre will be reduced to 20mph, and changes will be introduced at the junction with Cop Lane.
Councillor Iddon added: “We looked carefully at the issues that people raised with us about the proposal to close the slip road. I also spoke with our highways team to understand how it will affect people’s different journeys.
“Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact us about this proposal. It’s important that we could do this to understand any local issues.
“It will clearly affect some people in parts of Penwortham more than others, but I’ve driven the route myself and there’s only a small difference in time to go down Penwortham Hill, towards the Leyland Roundabout and onto Golden Way.
“If our Cabinet agree the proposal, then the slip road will be closed to coincide with the opening of John Horrocks Way.”
The slip road closure will reduce the attraction for drivers travelling from other areas through Penwortham town centre to Preston, rather than along the new bypass and the A582.
The aim is to reduce daily congestion in the centre of the town and on the Guild Way flyover extending back onto Golden Way at peak hours.
Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that Lancashire County Council has decided to open John Horrocks Way earlier than planned, enabling the flow of traffic to be diverted away from Liverpool Road and Penwortham town centre as soon as possible.
“For the residents of Penwortham, this will be welcome news: they will hear less traffic noise; they will experience less congestion; and the air they breathe will be cleaner.
“We are grateful to LCC for all the hard work that’s been put in to deliver the new road ahead of schedule – and whilst we acknowledge that overall, residents have been asking for this bypass for some time, we would like to emphasise the quality of work done by LCC and the level of resident consultation throughout – right down to choosing the name of the road.
“The council also welcomes the extra measures being taken in Penwortham town centre, such as the reduced speed limit and better provision for cyclists.
“It only remains for me to say that I hope all of our residents enjoy using the new bypass as a quicker, easier way of getting around which protects and preserves the town centre and its residents.”
The aim of the new bypass is to remove traffic through the centre of Penwortham by providing a new route from the A59 Liverpool Road at Howick to the A582 at Broad Oak Roundabout.
It is part of City Deal, which 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.
Are you looking forward to the new bypass being open? Let us know in the comments section.