A bid for up to £182m funding has been made to transform transport infrastructure in and around the Preston area.Advertisement
If granted, the money would be used to improve journeys and tackle congestion via bus, rail, cycling and walking schemes.
The bid includes plans for:
Read more: New railway station for Cottam moves a step closer
Lancashire County Council has made the bid after the Preston area last year became one of 12 city regions to be shortlisted for the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund. The aim of the initiative is to drive up productivity in cities through improved connections between urban centres and their suburbs.
The bid is supported by partner organisations from the public sector, including Preston City Council and South Ribble Borough Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and the University of Central Lancashire, plus local bus and rail providers.
If the bid is successful, the plans would be worked up in consultation with partners and key local stakeholders. They would be subject to normal planning processes, and people would be consulted about each aspect of the scheme.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “These are really exciting plans for the Preston area and I am very hopeful that the Department for Transport will look on them favourably.
“The Preston area has been a real economic success story in recent years and these plans would allow us to build on the good work of the City Deal.
“If successful the bid would deliver a substantial and interlinked package of sustainable and active travel measures using the latest technology and learning from pioneering examples of good practice from this country and abroad, helping people to move in and around the city more easily.
“It would also promote low carbon journeys, help tackle air pollution and boost healthier lifestyles by encouraging people to walk and cycle more.”
Councillor Peter Moss, deputy leader and cabinet member for Planning and Regulation for Preston City Council, said: “We’re excited by these transformational and ambitious plans to improve the transport infrastructure of Preston with a focus on low carbon journeys and green travel.
“As the city continues to grow and attract more people to live and work here it’s vital that our transport networks meet the current and future needs of our communities, businesses and visitors.
“These plans outline essential ways to relieve pressure on roads and promote alternative means of travel to the motor car and are another example of how, along with our partners, we continue to explore every opportunity to improve transport and connections in and around the city.”
Read more: High rise living complex in Pole Street has been given the go ahead
Councillor Bill Evans, cabinet member for Planning, Regeneration and City Deal for South Ribble Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Lancashire County Council’s bid to receive up to £182m from the Department for Transport as part of its Transforming Cities Fund.
“We are confident that the proposals put forward represent a really strong case for Preston and the surrounding areas – including towns such as Penwortham and Walton-le-Dale on our side of the River Ribble – to receive this funding.
“For example, the projects that would really benefit from this additional cash boost – such as a replacement of the Old Tram Bridge, and improved cycle links – are ones that we know our residents in South Ribble will really get behind.
“Therefore, I would urge the Department for Transport to look very closely at our bid and recognise all the tangible benefits it will have on residents and the numerous different modes of transport that this funding supports – car travel, bus travel, rail travel, walking, and cycling.
“We are all crossing our fingers that this funding comes in and we look forward to the announcement with great anticipation.”
Read more: Old Tram Bridge ownership debate has been settled
Michael Ahern, chief information and infrastructure officer at UCLan, said: “As a major economic anchor institution in the City of Preston, UCLan fully supports the exciting ambitions of these proposals that complement the wider economic benefits of our £200million Masterplan.
“A major factor in achieving our construction objectives on time and on budget has been the close partnership and collaborative working between the City, County and University.
“The Transforming Cities bid demonstrates a compelling blueprint to upgrade infrastructure for all modes of transport across Preston. If successful, it will be truly transformational for our City and the wider community.”
Read more: Upcoming road changes as UCLan Masterplan moves into next major phase
To find out more about the bid visit the LCC Transforming Cities webpage.
What do you think about the bid? Let us know in the comments.