Three Preston and South Ribble transport projects have been highlighted in a bid for extra funding.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council has put forward a number of projects that could be delivered quickly as part of a new call from Transport for the North for the government to fund schemes and help the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Transport for the North (TfN) has set out plans for a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), a 30-year investment plan of infrastructure projects to underpin greener Northern growth.
TfN’s new Economic Recovery Plan highlights projects that could be started over the next six to 18 months, and two to four years. The regional transport body says the work would create around 20,000 construction and design jobs across the north, and transform transport infrastructure.
The local projects that could be progressed quickly if further funding is made available include the creation of a dual carriageway along the full length of the A582 between Penwortham and motorway junctions at Lostock Hall.
As part of the same project, the B5253 stretch of Flensburg Way from the Farington recycling centre to Longmeanygate would also be turned into a dual carriageway using separate funding.
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The second project put forward would see improvements in central Preston to get more people cycling and walking by creating ‘active travel’ corridors along key routes.
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Finally, the project to improve rail journeys between Preston and Blackpool South by putting a ‘passing loop’ on the branch line has been highlighted.
County Councillor Michael Green, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “We know the government is keen to invest in transport infrastructure, particularly where there is evidence that projects can be delivered quickly and that every pound spent will have a good return and give confidence to businesses.
“We’ve put forward a number of schemes as part of the Transport for the North Economic Recovery Plan which are at an advanced stage, and where an injection of cash now could lead to work on the ground being able to start quickly.
“These road, rail and sustainable transport improvements are needed to update our infrastructure and ensure Lancashire can meet the needs of residents and businesses as our economy recovers from the pandemic and grows over the coming years.
“Some proposals such as the improvements to support active travel in Preston, and full dualling of the A582, could be very quickly progressed to the point where work could start on the ground.
“There are also others that would directly support jobs in the construction of house building and could potentially be delivered in the near future with funding to develop them now.
“There are also a number of bigger schemes within Lancashire where we already have a business case in development to support them, but investment at this stage could really accelerate their delivery. These schemes really do have the potential to transform opportunities for our communities and boost Lancashire’s contribution to the UK economy.”
You can find out more about the proposals on the Transport for the North website.
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What do you think of the possibility of these projects being fast-tracked? Let us know in the comments.