The building of a dual carriageway between Windy Harbour and Skippool near Poulton-le-Fylde has edged closer, after the Planning Inspectorate agreed to examine Highways England’s plans.
HE’s £100m proposal, to bypass the existing A585, has been put forward as part of the Government’s £15bn Road Investment Strategy.
The Planning Inspectorate will now scrutinise the idea and invite formal public responses before letting the Secretary of State decide if the new road can be built.
Highways England project manager David Hopkin said: “We are delighted the Planning Inspectorate has accepted what is effectively a planning application for the bypass we adopted as our preferred option last year, and have since refined in response to further public feedback in a statutory consultation in the spring.
“Almost everyone in the area agrees that something needs to be done about congestion along this section of the A585 – and the new road will help secure and improve opportunities for housing and jobs in this part of Lancashire.”
The Inspectorate’s involvement marks the penultimate formal milestone, and subject to Secretary of State approval work could begin in spring 2020.
HE said that the 2.7m Windy Harbour to Skippool section is one of the busiest and most congested along the 11.5m road, which links Fleetwood to the M55. The Shard and Little Singleton junctions are particular congestion bottlenecks.
The bypass proposal was revealed as the preferred route in October 2017, with refinements since including a signalised junction replacing a roundabout at the western, Poulton end of the bypass and a proposed Grange Road junction removed.