£41m road boost for Wyre economy

Road relief: Conservative Party leader Grant Shapps , third left, at the announcement of the new bypass for the A585. Below, Frank Lofhouse and Zuber Patel who have welcomed the move
Road relief: Conservative Party leader Grant Shapps , third left, at the announcement of the new bypass for the A585. Below, Frank Lofhouse and Zuber Patel who have welcomed the move
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Wyre is set to get a £41.3m bypass to relieve one of the biggest traffic nightmares in the county.

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps paid a flying visit to Poulton to see for himself the traffic bottlenecks between Windy Harbour and Skipool.

Frank Lofthouse and Zuber Patel at the Shell Garage on the A585 Mains Lane poulton

Frank Lofthouse and Zuber Patel at the Shell Garage on the A585 Mains Lane poulton

He was there to announce the new bypass plan which came as part of a Government £15bn roads giveaway in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn statement.

The Chancellor himself saw the issue of the A585 traffic jams when he visited Thornton last month and where he was lobbied by local businesses and MPs to improve the situation to aid economic growth.

Mr Shapps said the full details for the new route, which could rise to a cost of £50m, would be thrashed out by the Highways Agency and local stakeholders starting with a meeting next week.

He said the Government wanted the work on all the projects started by 2020.

He said: “This is great news for the people here who have to put up with this notorious bottleneck and who are sick of the A585 being stuffed up.

“They will be getting a new bypass which will make a huge difference to the residents’ journeys and to local businesses in Fleetwood and North Blackpool.

“The MPs here have lobbied long and hard to get this and so it is great that we have been able to deliver.

“Infrastructure is really important. When the Chancellor was here it was impressed upon him just how important this would be to Fleetwood and to the former ICI site to aid business growth and job prospects for the future.”

Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard said: “The work that has been carried out already on the A585 have been smaller project to deal with pinch points.

“This is a huge new project which will address most of the other problems.

“It is going to be significant for the future growth of the economy and the growth of the local population.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said he and local MPs had lobbied for the work for years and he was pleased the Government had finally found the money for it.

He said: “This is absolutely brilliant news for the residents here who have lived with one of the worst traffic congestion situations in Lancashire.

“This will be key for the future development of Fleetwood and companies such as Victrex and the others at the Hillhouse site.”

Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson said: “We had the Chancellor here two weeks agon and we and local businesses pushed the case for improving the A585.

“For regeneration and economic growth in the area we have to improve the A585 so this announcement is just what we need.

“£41m is a massive amount. It is a very, very busy road and the bypass will be good for the people who live here and work elsewhere such as Preston and Manchester, as well as for workers coming to the area.”

Other schemes in the £15bn announcement include the go-ahead for adding the ‘missing’ junction 2 to the M55, to create a link to the Preston Western Distributor Road. This will link the M55 to Warton and its Enterprize Zone.