/ News / Green Light for New Penwortham Bypass Route

Lancashire County Council's highways and planning bosses have agreed to adopt and protect a route for the completion of the Penwortham Bypass.

The decision was taken following a consultation held last year on plans for a new route for the road project, which has been made possible by funding from the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

The decision taken by County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, and County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, will see the route protected from development and remove protection of a previously proposed route. Preparation work will now continue to support a planning application scheduled for submission in spring 2016. This could see the road built and open as early as 2018.

A report considered by the cabinet member outlined issues raised during the consultation which the council’s planners will now take into account during initial development of the scheme, and look at how those issues can be addressed.

Information about the plans and a questionnaire was sent to 13,000 residents. A number of public information events were also held, along with briefings for residents, schools, businesses, parish councils and residents’ groups.

Completing the bypass will improve access from the A59 to the motorway network on a road that does not pass through Penwortham or Preston city centre. Completion of the Penwortham Bypass has been included in council plans for a number of years with funding for the scheme now available as a result of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

As well as making it much quicker and easier for people to get in and out of Preston and South Ribble, the bypass will dramatically reduce traffic through the centre of Penwortham. The project will also allow substantial improvements to be introduced along the Liverpool Road corridor and in the local centre, to benefit public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, and provide a much more attractive local environment for shoppers and visitors and present opportunities for businesses to grow.

County Councillor John Fillis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Protecting the route from development is a vital step towards delivering the bypass and the benefits it would bring.

“I’m grateful to everyone who took part in the consultation which showed a strong consensus for completing the Penwortham Bypass with a connection to the A59.

“We will consider the issued raised by local people very carefully as plans progress. Many of the things people asked us to look at are only able to be addressed at the detailed design stage and there will be further informal and formal consultation as the scheme is developed.”

Nothing was raised through the consultation that would stop progress on the preferred route. Compared to the previously proposed route for the completion of the bypass, the new route will mean no houses need to be demolished, and less land, woodland and hedgerow will be lost with a shorter stretch of road.

Councillor Cliff Hughes, South Ribble Borough Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Strategic Planning and Housing, said: “This is an important step forward in delivering this long-awaited bypass scheme which will not only reduce congestion but also allow for significant improvements to the town centre.

“This route has the benefit of being shorter, of not requiring the demolition of any houses and, looking to the future, of providing a more direct link to a potential future bridge over the River Ribble. The new bridge is of course very important in supporting economic growth in the area and beyond.”

The completion of the Penwortham Bypass is a key element of plans to support new development and economic growth outlined in Lancashire County Council’s Central Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan, and is one of four major highway schemes to receive funding under the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. A potential Ribble crossing is also highlighted in the Masterplan and the City Deal has made provision for funding to explore its feasibility.

The City Deal is a £434m ten-year project for Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire, delivering substantial new roads and other transport and infrastructure improvements.

Agreed with Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government, the City Deal will bring economic growth and new development to the area over the next decade. This includes creating more than 20,000 new jobs and the building of over 17,000 new homes.

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