£90m link to ease the jams

Congestion on the M55
Congestion on the M55
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TRANSPORT and business chiefs say a £90m new motorway link road to the M55 to ease congestion is vital to support economic growth on the Fylde.

A new report reveals further details of the scheme which is part of a £275m transport masterplan for central Lancashire.

The road will link the M55 near Bartle with the A583 and the A584 at Clifton, delivering better access to the proposed new enterprise zone at BAE Systems site in Warton.

Eventually it is proposed to build a new bridge over the River Ribble, with a ring road effectively created around Preston.

The M55 link road, dubbed Preston Western Distributor, will mean an additional junction being created on the motorway.

Businesses welcomed the scheme.

Steve Jones, proprietor of Harbour Properties on Lytham Road, Warton, said: “BAE Systems also has plans for residential development on the site, plus the Government has given the go ahead to fracking, which will bring more jobs.

“So the transport links for this area do need upgrading. I agree with the principle. At the moment all the BAE traffic goes up Bryning Lane and through Wrea Green and it does get very busy.

“The success of the enterprise zone is key to the area, so it needs supporting.”

A spokesman for BAE Systems said; “Any investment in the local area that improves the region’s economy, strengthens transport links and creates opportunities for inward investment and the growth of employment is encouraging.

“BAE Systems remains very supportive of the Lancashire Enterprise Zone.”

Work will not begin until 2019 – with the road open in 2022.

Preparatory work on the scheme will start next year, followed by the putting together of a business development plan, land assembly through compulsory purchase orders with a planning application not expected to be submitted until at least five years time.