Cottam rail link plan advances

A consultation has been opened for a parkway railway station close to Preston’s main strategic housing growth area.

Provisionally named as Cottam Parkway, the station on the railway between Preston and Blackpool would give around 12,000 homes to the north-west of Preston, areas including Cottam, Lea and Ingol, five-minute journeys into the city centre and 20 minutes to Blackpool.

Working with Jacobs, Lancashire County Council is leading on the project, which is enabled by a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund. Support will also come from the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

Plans include a free-to-use car park for around 250 vehicles, with access via the Cottam link road to the Western Distributor Link Road, which is due to open in 2023 and will run to a new junction with the M55 north of Cottam.

The station is to be fully accessible, including a green-roofed station building with waiting areas, a staffed booking and information office, vending machines and toilets. A footbridge and lifts will link the platforms.

The proposed site is on land between Lea Road and Sidgreaves Lane, close to the former Lea Road station site. Lea Road closed before World War II.

Cottam Cgi Station

Although exact designs are yet to be decided, the intention is for a staffed station with booking hall. Credit: consultation documents

The main access to the station and a new car park would be north of the railway line. Pedestrian, cycle and bus access will be created from Lea Road.

Consultation is open until 31 January. A planning application will be made this year, with the intention being for the station to open in 2024 or 2025.

Along with areas like Bartle, where housing linked to the new distributor road is in the works, Cottam is where much of the major housing projects within Preston are being plotted, the area providing the opportunities to develop at scale the council requires.

Homes England has a 1,100-home masterplan, within which David Wilson Homes put forward a 210-home fifth phase last summer.

Barratt, Story Homes and Morris Homes were allocated phases one to three, with Rowland Homes acquiring the land last year to deliver the 138-home phase four.

Countryside has consent for the sixth phase, while outside of the HE masterplan, BXB won consent last March for a mixed-use scheme including a district centre at the former Cottam Brickworks.

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