Bypass proposal put to residents

Public consultation ahead of a planning application has opened into the proposed £17.5m Penwortham Bypass in Lancashire.

A six-week public consultation started on Monday, closing on Friday 15 July. The public are also being asked for their views on improvements proposed along the A59 and in Penwortham town centre, once the bypass has opened.

People will be able to see some early ideas for developments in the centre of Penwortham, including opportunities to give more space and priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, as well as ways to tackle local parking issues.

The public events will be held at St Mary’s Church Hall in Penwortham from 10am to 8pm on Monday 13 June, Thursday 16 June and Wednesday 22 June.

A planning application is due to be made in autumn this year.

If approved, the bypass will run along the south western side of Penwortham between the A59 Liverpool Road and A582, forming a junction with Broad Oak roundabout. The road has been designed as a dual carriageway, with a 50mph speed limit along its whole length. It is a major multi-million pound investment in the road network in South Ribble that will provide extra capacity on the roads and reduce congestion through the town itself, especially at peak times.

County councillor John Fillis, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We want people to give us their views on this important scheme. The aim of the bypass is to reduce Penwortham’s traffic congestion, which has been a significant problem for many years.

“This road will present opportunities to improve the town centre, while also improving connections to other parts of the road network and motorways.

“This bypass will benefit Penwortham and the surrounding areas for generations to come, so it’s important that people share their views to help us to finalise these plans.”

Cllr Margaret Smith, leader of South Ribble Council, said: “I would urge everybody to take a look at these exciting plans and let us know their thoughts.

“We have already made significant changes to the original plans, based on the outcome of the last consultation, and so residents can be confident we are listening to their ideas and taking their suggestions seriously.

“The Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal is already making great progress towards our aim of unlocking the economic potential of the area, creating new jobs and making it easier for residents and businesses to get around. The new bypass will be another important milestone and will bring real benefits for the community.”

The bypass is a key part of the £434m City Deal. This is an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and the Homes & Communities Agency.

Key changes were made to the plans in March this year, including the introduction of a traffic signal-controlled junction with the A59 at Howick, replacing the proposed roundabout. The changes have been made in response to a number of comments from residents during the previous consultation, as well as further traffic modelling for the new road.

Detailed technical analysis showed that this simpler traffic signal-controlled junction will make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, while also promoting the bypass as the preferred through-route. The new design will also reduce the amount of land needed for the road in this area.

Once the bypass has opened, work will begin to improve the public realm through Penwortham, as well as measures to promote walking and cycling in the town centre. It will also provide opportunities to introduce bus priority measures along the A59, from Hutton into the city centre.

As part of the scheme, the number of exit lanes will be increased leaving Broad Oak roundabout onto the A582 Golden Way, heading towards Preston. This will help current traffic flow through the junction, while also preparing for additional traffic levels in the future.

Discussions are well underway to acquire the land needed for the bypass.

The City Deal aims to create more than 20,000 private sector jobs and see 17,000 homes built across Preston and South Ribble, as well as new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.

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This will undoubtedly ease the traffic on Liverpool Road which, in turn, will hopefully provide for a wider retail and leisure offer which the town should be able to sustain. The concern is that if the proposed Tesco on Cop Lane does proceed this will merely replace the displaced traffic and undermine efforts to revitalise Liverpool Road.

By Brian

I agree Brian. What we need in Penwortham is independent business and a bit of culture. I don’t think Tesco is the answer to unlocking Penwortham’s potential. And don’t start me on that bypass!

By Julia G

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