The construction of a major road scheme on the west side of Preston has received the final chunk of Government funding to make the scheme a reality.
The £200m Preston Western Distributor scheme will be built between the M55 and a new junction with Blackpool Road at Lea. The intention is that it will particularly benefit areas of the city including Fulwood, Ingol, Cottam, Lea and Ashton, long with a wider area including the Enterprise Zone at Warton.
The highways project also includes two new roads connecting to the current and future development of thousands of homes in the North West Preston strategic housing site.
Cllr Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We can now commence the construction work very soon. This road scheme will open up new business opportunities, improve access to existing and proposed housing sites and reduce congestion on other parts of the network by providing more options for how people can get around.”
Baroness Vere, under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, described the project as “transformative”.
The Preston Western Distributor Scheme is part of the Preston, South Ribble & Lancashire City Deal, an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central Government and Homes England.
Funding for the roads is coming from the Department for Transport, City Deal, Highways England and the Lancashire Growth Deal. Approval was given in April to start land assembly for the project, and construction is slated to start before 2020.
Steve Fogg, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a massive boost to central Lancashire’s economy, both in general business activity through greater connectivity to the west coast and the wider motorway network, and in opening up opportunities for housing.
“The LEP successfully secured £58m funding for the Preston Western Distributor and will continue to invest Growth Deal funds in strategically important projects across the county.”
The Preston Western Distributor scheme is scheduled to open in 2023.