John Horrocks Way Penwortham Bypass
Penwortham Bypass in Lancashire opened to the public on 2 December

Penwortham Bypass signals town centre refresh

Sarah Townsend

The opening of the £17.5m Penwortham Bypass in Lancashire this month paves the way for proposed improvements to the town centre, including a public realm and pedestrian-friendly high street, according to the council.

Construction began in January 2018 to build a dual carriageway linking the A59 Liverpool Road to the A582, bypassing Penwortham to the south west of the town and connecting to the existing Broad Oak roundabout.

The road has a 50mph speed limit along its whole length.

The project, funded by the £434m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, has been named John Horrocks Way after the 1700s Lancashire textile mill owner John Horrocks, who lived in Penwortham. It has been delivered by the City Deal’s in-house highways team and was originally due to complete in 2020.

The road opened on 2 December, and its completion now sets the scene for work to begin on improving the public realm beyond the bypass and into Penwortham town centre.

Documents from Lancashire County Council show proposals for three options for town centre improvements to reflect the reduced volume of traffic expected to pass through Penwortham.

These are, transforming the high street into a central boulevard with more room for pedestrians and space for unspecified alternative uses, a tree-lined avenue to serve as the main high street, or a “narrow meandering high street” with trees in the centre of the carriageway and more space for road users.

Options for a bus priority route on the A59 will also be considered now the bypass is complete, the council said.

Plans for the bypass were granted permission in September 2017. As part of the works, school playing fields at All Hallows Catholic High School were relocated and improved, providing them with better drainage and improved access from the school.

The council aims to reduce congestion in Penwortham, encourage more walking and cycling and prioritise buses along the A59.

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This has caused significant chaos and total gridlock in Penwortham! It has been like the old Malibu advert up in Penwortham – and has done anything but ‘by pass’ us. They are driving through our estate to get to the motorway, Hornbeam Drive etc. And we are considering forming a protest group! One of the neighbours put the children outside with signs yesterday. Its awful the sooner they sort this the better.

By Vera Chartle

Not done the local independant retailers any favours by closing the road at busiest time of the year !!!!

By Anonymous

Stupid, stupid plan from LCC. Moved all the traffic away from businesses, so the High Street suffers and they’re sending all the cars through where people live. The side roads can’t cope with that volume of traffic. It’s absolute chaos locally. Another bridge over the River Ribble would have been a much better idea.

By Resident

Vera – I am not sure that this is a permanent issue as the full bypass infrastructure is yet to be opened. It will undoubtedly provide an opportunity for Liverpool Road – already seeing new bars and restaurants coming forward – shaping up to be a little Altrincham. That said the grid lock around Hornbeam etc cannot continue. And Booths roundabout is dangerous – needs a re think urgently.

By Brian

The roundabout at Booths needs better signage.

By Julie

‘Options for a bus priority route on the A59 will also be considered now the bypass is complete.’ So, a time limited bus lane in other words at Howick. The council (LCC) have realised they will struggle to stop traffic from going through Penwortham because the traffic flow on the bypass is too slow at morning peak times. The roundabout at The Brown Hare is a death trap, a number of accidents already in the space of a week and drivers are avoiding it by taking to the side roads. Cop Lane, Bank Top Road and Blackthorn Drive are car parks during the school run as many residents predicted. Only hope once Howick is reopened, the current traffic situation eases but the roundabout needs attention.

By Resident

Road markings at Millbrook Way (Booths Roundabout) are very confusing causing drivers to try to change lanes at last second.

By David Ash

Good idea all round

By Good

I can not believe how short sighted the LCC seem to be and I bet they are not travelling this route. Why can the LCC not listen to the majority of people who have to travel this route every day to work. The LCC made the whole situation worse by making the slip road to the flyover one lane then decide to spend millions on a new bypass that sends everyone into a road that already can not cope with traffic at peak hrs. To top this the lane management is absolutely atrocious with lanes verging into each other and no lighting along the route. This is if you travel by car..don’t mention the hassle you have caused to commuters using public transport. You have killed any business development potential and when traffic can once again enter Liverpool Road will be forced to use local side roads to wiggle your way back to cop lane etc to get back on route to Preston as the plan is to shut the slip road onto the fly over…..oh yes…you can go towards Broadgate if you can get through the traffic lights as guess what…it’s been made a single lane. What a fantastic cycle path that is…just a pitty you have to risk your neck to actually get to it and what joy it is to cycle with the buses up Fishergate.
I sincerely hope that the chosen few that live along Liverpool Road are now happy and relaxed while drinking their G&T.
What looks to be the new junction that will allow traffic in and out of Liverpool Road at Howick will cause severe traffic build up at peak hrs.and is on a bend…very well thought out.

By Paul Greenwood

Stop moaning. It’s only temporary and the result will be a much nicer, healthier and safer town centre. Which in itself as numerous studies have shown, will improve footfall to the businesses and increase the local economy.

Seeing schoolchildren having to cross Liverpool Rd in the morning and afternoon in all that traffic was a real concern. Only when the whole project is finished will we be able to judge it’s impact.

By Sean

I used to spend quite a bit of money in the shops passing through, not now , totally no thought for the traders .

By Anonymous

‘Aimed to reduce congestion’ where have they done that, they have just moved it and made it worse. They have not done the residents and businesses of Penwortham any favours at all, residents now have to drive further to town and work through worse traffic and the businesses have just seen their income tumble and for the worst of them likely loose their business altogether, no amount pedestrianisation will bring back the passing trade. Total idiots running the council highways department. Trees in the middle of the road, sounds like a good idea whilst people are trying to travel to work, suppose this is just another flawed idea like Fishergate, especially for the partially sighted! Where do they dream up these hair brained schemes?

By Dale Green

Disaster, if you need to know how much of an impact this has had on our local community just ask the schools to see how many children have been late since the opening of this abysmal system. The shear volume that has been shifted onto and through residential areas. Like a previous comment , a simple solution would be to build a bridge over the Ribble. LCC another madcap unthought through plan , instead of setting down these plans that are run through on a computer programme for gods sake ask the people who know best , the motorists and the residents , and get out from behind the desk and get this sorted rapid , gridlock is costing our business, health and our economy, my Grandparents always said if you want to waste money just give it to a local council , how right the elders were

By Anonymous

Still got heavy traffic coming through New Longton… thought they were supposed to go down the new bypass..looks like Penwortham is the only area to benefit from it…?

By Teech

What about cycle paths on Penwortham hill? It is dangerous to cycle there at the moment.

By Anonymous

Better signage coming west over river saying IGNORE SAT NAVS follow road signs to Liverpool and Southport

By Bob

LCC, closing howick 3 weeks to Christmas will have been a financial disaster for the Businesses in Penwortham. Get the flow back up and running for a couple of months before you make anymore rash decisions which will affect livelihoods.

By S Parkinson

I moved to Penwortham last year because it was a quite little village feel to it. Now with the bypass, it’s just a mess. I have the choice of being an hour early for work or 30 minutes late. My days are already 16 plus hours. Trucks are still going down Liverpool road. Stupid, stupid, stupid plan.

By T. Miller

In a couple of months everyone will have forgotten the teething problems. You have to expect backup at peak times as the same volume of traffic is trying to get into Preston. If you want to reduce problems through the village you have to put in restrictions or the who exercise is pointless. Once the other works are completed drivers will hopefully learn that the rat runs are actually slower than the primary route. The real answer to traffic problems is fast cheap quality public transport.
I do sympathise with the traders in the short term. However what an opportunity to make Penwortham a nice village shopping and leisure experience.

By JE