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Preston reacts to Ringway roadworks one year after £14.7m revamp announced

Posted on - 5th April, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Friargate, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Roads, Transport
Representatives including Cllr Riggott and Phil Durnell from the county council and Claire Lowe from UCLan visited the Ringway site
Representatives including Cllr Riggott and Phil Durnell from Lancashire County Council and Claire Lowe from UCLan visited the Ringway site in March

Prestonians have reacted to the roadworks on Ringway one year since a multi-million pound city centre transport revamp was announced.

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Lancashire County Council is spending £14.7m from a successful Transforming Cities Fund bid to make changes to promote public transport, walking and cycling in what’s known as the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway scheme.

Work to create a two-way cycle path on Ringway started in early February, and locals didn’t hold back when asked about it.

Some described it as ‘a massive inconvenience’, ‘a waste of time and money’ and ‘absolutely ridiculous’.

Pedestrian Karen Robinson said: “No short cut for me now and that’s walking distance. I bet it’s a nightmare for drivers, I’ve seen loads cursing.”

Car user Robert Taylor said: “Trying to turn right on to Ringway from North Road is impossible due to traffic backing up. Four lights before moved.”

Ringway roadworks Pic: 70023venus2009:Flickr
Work to create a cycle path on Ringway started in February Pic: 70023venus2009:Flickr

Many said they are avoiding the city centre altogether, preferring to travel to Chorley or even Cheshire Oaks to shop.

City centre business owners also shared concerns with one saying the roadworks were ‘crucifying’ their already Covid-hit trade.

In response, a spokesperson for the City Centre Retail Forum said: “City centre businesses are understanding of comments in relation to the temporary improvement works on Ringway.

“They would like to remind visitors that the city centre remains very much open for business, and that whilst roadworks are in place, access in and out remains, and journey times are only very slightly affected.

“Visitors may benefit from planning their journey outside of peak travel times, and considering using public transport”.

Concerns have also been raised about the Corporation Street bus gate, which will see part of the road permanently closed to traffic other than buses, taxis and cycles.

Residents said the change will make it harder for people to access the city centre while damaging businesses located there and creating more traffic in other areas.

Read more: Council responds to concerns over Corporation Street bus gate

Adding to the frustration, the work at Corporation Street took longer than expected after large sand deposits were discovered beneath the surface.

Nevertheless, Lancashire County Council were upbeat about the work in a recent update.

Lancashire County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth, said: “It’s great to see how much progress has been made on site since work started late last year.

“Although I appreciate there has been some traffic disruption, we can already start to see how these improvements will make Preston a far more attractive destination.

“Once again we thank people for their patience whilst we carry out these substantial works on very busy roads. 

“We can all look forward to a reconnected city centre with increased footfall for businesses between the university and the Harris Quarter, as well as improved access for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Read more: Ringway roadworks update given by Lancashire County Council

With work for the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway scheme having started last November, locals will have to wait until Spring 2023 for it to be finished.

The next phase of work to pedestrianise Friargate will begin from late April. It will be carried out in sections to maintain pedestrian access and deliveries to businesses.

Eventually the street will be permanently closed to traffic between Ringway and Marsh Lane, with bus services moved to Corporation Street.  

For more information about the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway scheme, visit the Lancashire County Council website.


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