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Speed limits on A583 and A6 set to be reduced as part of safety overhaul

Posted on - 24th March, 2024 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Fylde News, Preston Locations, Preston News, Roads, Transport, Wyre News
A6, Bilsborrow
A6, Bilsborrow

The speed limits on two major Lancashire roads are to be cut in a bid to reduce the number of accidents occurring on them.

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The maximum speeds on parts of the A583 between Preston and Blackpool and sections of the A6 between Broughton and Lancaster will be reduced as part of broader safety upgrades planned for the busy routes.

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Lancashire County Council has not yet decided exactly which stretches of the two roads will see their speed limits slashed, but the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands the changes will be focused on areas where new housing estates have been – or are being – built.

Read more: Preston and South Ribble unimpressed with ‘lukewarm’ devolution deal

It means motorists turning out of new side roads onto the heavy-flowing A-routes will not have to negotiate traffic travelling at up to 50mph, as is currently the case.

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Excess speed – over the existing limits – has been found to be a contributory factor in many of the hundreds of collisions that have occurred in recent years on the two roads, in spite of both already being covered by a combination of average and fixed-point speed cameras.

A583 near Preston Western Distributor Road
A583 near Preston Western Distributor Road

On the A583, drivers running red lights has also been an issue in some of the reported accidents, prompting highways bosses to plan the installation of new cameras to tackle the problem at some key junctions.

The schemes will also see measures introduced to encourage cycling and walking – and to keep those choosing to do so safe.  Between a quarter and a third of recent accidents on the two roads have involved cyclists and pedestrians.

County Hall has been awarded just over £6m for the work as part of a rolling government initiative to improve the safety of the highest-risk roads in the country – 17 of which have earmarked for cash as part of the latest tranche of Safer Roads Fund allocations announced this week.

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council told the LDRS that the authority’s approach will be “to complement ongoing development work within [the vicinity of the A583 and A6] to support safe and sustainable travel of the people living there”.

What’s happening where?

A6, Garstang Road and Preston Lancaster Road – from Broughton (James Towers Way) to the M6 junction 33 at Hampson Green

The speed limit currently fluctuates between 40mph and 50mph along the vast majority of the route.

The problem:

***212 injury-related collisions recorded in the last five years;

***one of the accidents was fatal and 39 resulted in serious injuries;

***72 of the crashes involved cyclists or pedestrians;

***police investigations suggest reduced vehicle speeds may have helped to prevent many of the collisions.

The proposed solution:

A £4.54m scheme which aims to:

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***reduce the risk and severity of collisions by cutting the speed limit along part of the route, with the upgrade and introduction of refuge crossing islands to provide safer crossing points and act as traffic calming measures;

***boost opportunities for ‘active travel’ by improving pedestrian and cycle facilities with new crossing facilities, mandatory cycle lanes and shared-use paths;

***encourage people to use the facilities provided to cross the road safely by upgrading existing traffic signals to include crossing facilities, adding refuge islands and introducing ‘toucan’ crossing facilities, which permit cyclists to cross roads without getting off their bikes;

***encourage cycling by improving links between locations along the A6, and along the existing, well-used National Cycle Network 6 route by providing mandatory cycle lanes and shared use facilities.

A583 (Blackpool Road/Kirkham Bypass/Preston New Road) from junction with Edith Rigby Way [Preston Western Distributor Road] to the M55 junction 4 at Peel Hill 

The speed limit is currently 50mph along the entire length of the route.

The problem:

***141 injury-related collisions recorded in the last six years.

***24 of the accidents resulted in serious injuries;

***34 of the crashes involved cyclists or pedestrians;

***analysis suggests that speed enforcement and cameras to discourage vehicles running red lights may have helped to prevent several of the collisions.

The proposed solution:

A £1.49m scheme which aims to:

***reduce the risk and severity of collisions by reducing the speed limit along a section of the route from 50mph to 40mph where housing developments have been built, which will also encourage walking and cycling;

***reduce the risk and severity of collisions by introducing enforcement measures in partnership with Lancashire Constabulary designed to reduce speeds and complement existing measures along the route;

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***boost opportunities for ‘active travel’ by improving pedestrian and cycle facilities with new crossing facilities, mandatory cycle lanes and shared-use paths;

***improve safety for pedestrians and encourage walking by providing improved pedestrian facilities, including refuge islands and pedestrian crossings. The measures include the upgrade of current pedestrian facilities to ‘toucan’ crossings;

***encourage cycling by improving cycling infrastructure which links locations along the A583 and connects into existing well-used National Cycle Network routes.

In numbers

385 – the number of lives that the latest £38.3m nationwide allocation from the Safer Roads Fund is expected to save across the country over the next 20 years

2,600 – the number of fatal and serious injuries that Safer Roads Fund schemes aim to prevent nationwide over the next 20 years

31 percent – reduction in level of accidents on some roads that will be upgraded as part of the fund

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