Lancashire County Council has unveiled the chosen designs for a £14.7m scheme to regenerate Friargate and Ringway in central Preston, a job due for completion in spring 2023.
The project is funded by a successful bid to the Transforming Cities Fund, and is intended to make the area more attractive, improve connections and improve facilities for sustainable travel.
Consultation was carried out in spring to influence the design selection. Construction will start in mid-November 2021 on Corporation Street and be carried out in three main phases:
Cllr Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is essential work to allow for the improvements to take place, making the city centre a far more attractive place to be.
“Although these works will cause disruption to traffic through the city centre, please bear with us and we can look forward to the long-term benefits of reconnecting both sides of Preston city centre for a better leisure and shopping experience and improved facilities for sustainable travel.”
Access to all car parks will be maintained throughout the programme. Works will include resurfacing of roads and raised boarding platforms at Corporation Street, where Friargate’s bus stops will be moved to as part of that street’s pedestrianisation.
In early 2022 work will start on moving the central reservation on Ringway southwards to make room for a new two-way cycle path on the north side of the carriageway.
Further projects within the scope of the TCF programme include improvements to the city’s Peace Garden, and acting on a long-held ambition to connect the railway station on Butler Street to both Avenham Park and South Ribble by a direct route for both cyclists and pedestrians – a project enabled by the recent replacement of the East Cliff bridge.
LCC said it is working with the Fishergate Centre, Network Rail and rail franchise Avanti to make this new route a reality, adding that legal issues have been overcome as it hopes to start work on site to add this “missing link”.