Highways England has announced its preferred option for the A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool bypass, part of its £15bn five-year national investment programme launched in 2015.
The £100m scheme is set to improve a 2.8 mile stretch of the main road heading to the North of the Fylde peninsula from the M55, described as a severe bottleneck by the agency, whose South Pennines Route Strategy Evidence Report ranked it among the worst 10% of routes in the North West. Key aims of the bypass are to reduce congestion around the Little Singleton, Shard Road and Skippool junctions.
Consultation sessions have been held locally, with two options on the table: the Southern bypass option, diverting around Little Singleton, and one that involved upgrading the existing single carriageway road. Of the two, the former was more popular, with 78% of respondents preferring it, along with both Fylde and Wyre councils.
Highways England’s report said: “While it is the more expensive option, the southern bypass does more to reduce congestion, reduce journey time and improve safety overall. It will better support the proposed developments further north on the Fylde peninsula by increasing the overall capacity of the road.
“Option 1 also provides more improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, as it will take traffic away from the existing A585.”
Development areas to the North of the area include the Hillhouse enterprise zone at a former ICI production facility in Thornton Cleveleys, a 340-acre site already home to 40 businesses.
The next steps for the highway project are continuing surveys and investigations on whether to proceed with a link to Shard Road, and the potential inclusion of the Grange junction and the Lodge Lane land bridge. There will be further consultation before an application is made for a Development Consent Order. The road is due to start on site in 2020.