/ News / Contractor appointed for Preston to M55 road scheme

Lancashire County Council has appointed a contractor for a proposed new road connecting the western side of Preston with the M55 motorway.

Costain has been announced as the contractor for the Preston Western Distributor and associated link roads.

This major scheme involves a new dual carriageway linking Preston and southern Fylde from the A583 Blackpool Road to the M55 – including a new motorway junction.

Due to the growth of Central Lancashire, a new junction is now needed in this area. A junction was previously planned to accommodate future developments. It will become junction two to fit with the existing numbering of other junctions.

The new road will also connect to new and existing housing areas of North West Preston and Cottam.

The proposals will support new housing to be built in the local area, while increasing capacity on central Lancashire’s strained road network to support economic growth and job creation across the wider area.

There’ll also be opportunities for new bus priority measures, improvements to local public areas and improvements to encourage walking and cycling.

The appointed contractor, Costain, is currently working on the £124m Heysham-M6 Link in north Lancashire.

Costain’s knowledge and expertise will be used to further develop the scheme, along with building the Preston Western Distributor, and may extend to also delivering the East-West Link Road, which would connect Lightfoot Lane with the Preston Western Distributor.

The county council is currently consulting on its proposals with stakeholders and the local community. The consultation closes on 12 February after which the county council will work with the contractor to consider its final proposals and submit these as part of a planning application after Easter.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The appointment of Costain is a major landmark in this project. The work on this scheme is progressing well.

“Costain have worked with us to construct the Heysham M6 Link and we’re looking forward to working with them once again. Their expertise and experience are important for us to deliver a really high-quality road scheme, bringing strong benefits for local people and businesses.”

Andrew Wyllie CBE, chief executive of Costain, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract which further underlines our position as a market leader in the delivery of critical highways schemes which support regional economic growth.

“It also demonstrates our ability to continue to win repeat business from our customers due to our collaborative approach and our track record of performance against time and budget.”

This scheme is possible thanks to funding agreed between government, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and central Lancashire’s local authorities under the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

The City Deal will help to deliver new infrastructure, new homes and more jobs over the next ten years.

The proposed Preston Western Distributor is a 4.3km dual carriageway linking the A583 at Lea to the M55 at Bartle with a new motorway junction.

The East West Link Road would be a 3.4km long single carriageway road linking Lightfoot Lane to the Preston Western Distributor.

As part of the Preston Western Distributor, a single carriageway link road will be created to Cottam Way. The Cottam Link Road will join the Preston Western Distributor just north of the Lancaster Canal.

Subject to planning and funding approval, work is scheduled to start on the East-West Link Road by the end of 2016 and on the Preston Western Distributor in late 2017.

The City Deal is an agreement between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.

A public consultation is currently taking place on the plans for the new roads. It finishes on Friday 12 February. To find out more and take part, you can complete an online questionnaire here.

The county council has also written to around 8,000 residents in the area to ask their views.

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