Preston Western Distributor update given and new road closure details

Posted on - 6th October, 2021 - 1:05pm | Author - | Posted in - Cottam, Fylde News, Politics, Preston News, Transport, Woodplumpton
Cllr Edwards was given a tour of the site

A major new road is being built – the Preston Western Distributor, which will link Preston and southern Fylde to the M55 motorway.


The road is scheduled to open in early 2023, and is a £200m road scheme which is the biggest new road programme in the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

It will help to promote new housing and business development in the area, while increasing capacity on the existing local road network.

Read more: Transport schemes in Preston and Lancashire could receive up to £50m boost

Construction began in October 2019 on this major road scheme to west side of the city from the M55 motorway to a new junction with Blackpool Road at Lea.

It also includes two new roads connecting to the current and future development of thousands of homes in the Northwest Preston Strategic Housing Site.

The Preston Western Distributor will link the A583 and the M55 motorway and will involve the construction of:

  • a new motorway junction
  • four new bridges, and
  • three underpasses

The scheme also includes two new roads connecting to new and existing housing areas of North West Preston and Cottam.

The new East-West Link Road and Cottam Link Road will provide convenient access to the Preston Western Distributor, avoiding already congested local routes.

Cllr Edwards was given a tour of the site by Project Manager of the scheme Phill Wilson from Lancashire County Council.

Read more: Watch latest progress on Preston Western Distributor in frosty aerial scenes 

As a new cabinet member for highways and transport at the county council, he was keen to see the site.

The site

Cllr Edwards said: “It was exciting to have the opportunity to visit the £200m Preston Western Distributor scheme which will greatly benefit the city, especially the areas Fulwood, Ingol, Cottam, Lea and Ashton, and the wider area including the Enterprise Zone at Warton.

“It was great to see for myself how the road is now taking shape and to get a real appreciation of the size and scale of several impressive structures and features, including the £11 million Lea Viaduct.

“I was pleased to meet some members of the team onsite and I am particularly impressed by how they have managed to continue working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and are still on track to open on time.”

Key developments onsite which Cllr Edwards was shown include –

Becconsall Bridge (M55 J2)
The bridge beams have now been installed with 4 sets of beams, each 48m long and 6ft high. The deck will consist of pre-cast concrete planks spanning beam to beam and covered with an in-situ reinforced concrete deck.

Savick Brook Viaduct
The recent concreting of the base on Pier 1 was a huge landmark for the team, this meant that all substructure works are now complete, and they are now officially out of the ground. In addition to this, the steel beams for phases 6 & 7, which will span from the South Abutment to Piers 5 & 4, have now been delivered to site and are ready to be lifted into place.

Bartle Bridge
The construction team installed the 14 pre-cast concrete beams, each 31m long and 1.5m tall. A Demag super-lift crane, was used to place the beams from two lifting positions due to the tight lifting radius. When the beams were raised above the abutment, the hook block was only 1m below the top of the crane jib.

Saddle Roundabout
Progress on the roundabout has taken just over one year to construct, with the formation of the new roundabout layout and realignment of several sections of existing road. It will eventually form one of the main gateways of the project, linking the Preston Western Distributor road to the surrounding area as well as the future East-West Link Road, relieving congestion on many of the smaller rural roads.

Plan ahead – road closures for works


23 Oct and 30 Oct (Saturday Overnight) – Bridge works to remove temporary works safely from the new bridge
Junction 1-3 Full Closure Eastbound and Westbound

8 Nov (Monday Overnight) – Lining Works
Junction 1-3 Full Closure Eastbound

9 Nov (Tuesday Overnight)
Lane 1 & 2 Closed Eastbound – Temporary VRS Installation
Junction 1-3 Full Closure Westbound– Lining Works

10 Nov (Wednesday Overnight)
Lane 1 & 2 Closed Westbound – Temporary VRS Installation

Marked diversions will be in place for the duration of the closures, see a map of the route.

Permanent closure of Maxy Lane

Maxy Lane will be permanently shut between Sandy Lane and Cherry Tree Farm. There will be no access for vehicles or pedestrians after this time and the road will not reopen.

Tabley Lane

Access along Tabley Lane will be available with temporary traffic lights in place until Nov 21

Blackpool Road – Second Phase

Work to construct the new junction on Tabley Lane for the EWLR has now commenced. Phase 2 of the new road layout has now started on Blackpool Road North side, a section of Riversway was diverted onto a new temporary road to keep the traffic flowing during the works on the North side of the junction.

Work will begin diverting existing underground services, undertaking earthworks, installing all new drainage, ducting, and kerbing the new road before surfacing the new layout. We anticipate the works to last through to Spring 2022.

Temporary closure of Bartle Lane

Part of Bartle Lane is closed for construction on Bartle Lane Bridge and the stretch of the Preston Western Distributor Road through Bartle. A road closure is in place at approximately 240 metres from the junction of Lea Lane for safety reasons.

Motorists are required to divert via the signed diversion along Lea Lane, Sidgreaves Lane, Hoyles Lane and Sandy Lane (also operating in reverse). Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will not be able to travel through the road closure. Properties located on Bartle Lane can be accessed via Sandy Lane, but not Lea Lane.

It is expected that Bartle Lane will reopen in summer 2022 where traffic on Bartle Lane will travel over the Preston Western Distributor Road on the newly-constructed Bartle Lane Bridge.

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Are you excited for the new road to open? Let us know in the comments below.

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