£1.3m scheme aimed at easing bottlenecks

Traffic chaos on the A585, approaching the Kirkham junction of the M55. The road is a key link between Fleetwood and the motorway.
Traffic chaos on the A585, approaching the Kirkham junction of the M55. The road is a key link between Fleetwood and the motorway.
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A multi-million pound scheme aimed at easing traffic congestion on a major road has been met with mixed views.

The Highways Agency’s proposals to widen the A585’s Windy Harbour junction, at Fleetwood Road and Garstang Road, in Singleton, will see £1.3m spent on reducing traffic jams in the autumn.

Work will involve realigning and widening the roads, as well as creating extra lanes through the junction, as part of the Government-funded Pinch Point Programme.

The route is regularly bottlenecked during rush hour.

Some community leaders believe the work will benefit the towns linked to the A585, including Poulton, Thornton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, added: “I’m pleased to hear the scheme is getting underway.

“It can’t come soon enough for the many people who rely on this route. Equally I’m very aware that far more needs to be done to make the A585 totally fit for purpose, and I’m arguing for that to increase.”

Coun Terry Rogers, shadow economic portfolio holder and Fleetwood councillor at Wyre Council, said the improvements will help the town.

He added: “It’s long overdue.

“The A585 has always been a significant problem through the years and it’s more than welcome.

“We are always looking for more tourism in Fleetwood and people do find it difficult to get here.

“It was a direct factor for us as a port when Stena Line ferries said they were having problems with it (congestion).”

However, Coun Maxine Chew, of Singleton Parish Council, says the work is a waste of money.

She said: “What they are trying to do will not improve things at all.

“They are going to put two lanes at a junction, but they will only be very short and after a few hundred yards they will zip into one.

“It won’t succeed and trying to push traffic through when it’s already at a standstill is a dreadful waste of money.”

Coun Penny Martin, Cleveleys Park ward councillor for Wyre Council, claims the roadworks will only act as a temporary solution.

She added: “Anything that will ease congestion is great, but it still underlines the fact we have one road in and one road out, and there will be massive congestion during the roadworks.

“I welcome the Highways Agency recognises there’s a problem, but this won’t solve the problem.

“It will be a sticking plaster because what we seriously need is to fight for investment in proper infrastructure.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This Government is backing business with better infrastructure so that more jobs and opportunities are created for hardworking people, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families.”