Lancashire County Council has released the final designs for a scheme to revamp the Friargate and Ringway areas of Preston city centre.Advertisement
The council said the scheme will make the area more attractive, improve connections between parts of the city centre, revitalise the leisure and shopping experience, and improve facilities for sustainable travel.
As part of its successful Transforming Cities Fund bid, Lancashire County Council was awarded £14.7m to regenerate Friargate North and Ringway in line with other modern cities.
Following a public engagement exercise in the spring, the council’s planning team have been finalising designs for the scheme and putting together a construction programme.
The latest works will start in mid-November 2021 on Corporation Street and are scheduled for completion by spring 2023.
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County Councillor Charlie Edwards said: “This is essential work to allow for the improvements to take place, making the city centre a far more attractive place to be.
“Although these works will cause disruption to traffic through the city centre, please bear with us. We can look forward to the long-term benefits of reconnecting both sides of Preston city centre for a better leisure and shopping experience and improved facilities for sustainable travel.
“We need to start these substantial works at this time to ensure all the city centre improvement works are completed within the funding deadline of spring 2023. I realise that carrying out roadworks on the approach to Christmas is not ideal.
“Access to all car parks will be maintained throughout the works to allow shoppers to get into the city. Clearly marked diversion routes will guide traffic when necessary. We will keep our webpage and social media updated with what works are on the road so that people know how to get to where they need as easily as possible.”
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As with any construction project, timetables may be subject to change if unforeseen issues are found. The council will provide regular updates as work progresses.
The work will start on Corporation Street, and there will be full and part road closures until the new year so that all of the bus services can be moved to Corporation St from Friargate, allowing Friargate to be pedestrianised.
From the middle of November, Corporation Street will need to be closed between Marsh Lane and Heatley Street for around three weeks to allow the construction of new bus stops with raised boarding platforms for easy access and for the council to resurface the road.
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After the initial closure, Corporation Street will be reopened with narrowed carriageways and temporary traffic signals between Heatley Street and Ringway.
These measures will continue until the new year when Heatley Street will need to close again to safely improve and surface the footways and carriageway on the narrow road. This closure will last for about three weeks.
In early 2022, work will start by moving the central reservation on Ringway southwards to make room for a new two-way cycle path on the north side of the carriageway. These works will continue until Spring 2023 and will involve closing the outer lane of Ringway in each direction to allow the work to take place safely.
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In Spring 2022, work will also start on the pedestrianisation of Friargate North. Between Ringway and Marsh Lane, Friargate will be permanently closed to traffic. The bus services running on Friargate will move to Corporation Street.
High-quality paving, trees, street furniture, and the central service routes and cycleways will be installed at this time.
The work will be carried out in sections, and access for pedestrians and deliveries to the businesses will be maintained throughout the construction phase.
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A dedicated liaison officer will work with the businesses to ensure that the impact will be minimised. Any problems that arise will be dealt with swiftly. Clearly marked pedestrian routes will help guide people through the area whilst the works are on site.
For more information, visit – www.lancashire.gov.uk/fnr
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