More closures in store for resort gateway

Yeadon Way, Blackpool
Yeadon Way, Blackpool
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Yeadon Way could be set to close again for yet more repair work, The Gazette can reveal.

The main gateway into the heart of the resort could be shut again in late 2019 to complete work already carried out on the trunk road.

Town hall chiefs are bidding for £3.5m to carry out the ‘essential’ work.

Fears over settlement issues of a 600m section of the route are part of the reason for the potential closure.

Also, County Hall is bidding for money to help pay for the long-awaited link road between the M55 and St Annes going over ‘The Moss’.

A report reveals plans to apply for Government funding, from the new National Productivity Investment Fund.

It states: “It is essential to future investment in the resort, especially development of the Central Station site.”

Jeremy Walker, transport policy manager at Blackpool Council, told the Transport for Lancashire committee: “Yeadon Way is the only direct link from the end of the M55 to the resort coach parks. This link is essential for the local economy to function.

“There are issues with the materials used and the geology. Settlement is an issue and there are signs of distress with the road. The key issue is to prevent an unplanned closure of this road.”

He added it was also essential to upgrade the route to ensure future economic and job opportunities.

The aim is to make vital repairs to a section neighbouring one repaired in 2014 following a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s Local Pinch-Point Fund. Those previous repairs to a 645 metre stretch of road cost £3.6m. The council anticipates the new scheme for a 600 metre section will cost between £2m and £5m and it will seek a contribution of between £1.4m and £3.5m.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the £690m inter council competition for cash in the spring - councils must enter schemes by June 30 which are aimed at tackling congestion and getting transport networks moving again.

If their bid is successful the project would have to be completed in two years.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The road is fine to drive over at the moment but it will need important repairs doing in the coming years. This bid will allow us to secure the majority of the funding now, which can then be spent on the repairs towards the end of 2019.

“We’re extremely conscious that there will be a lot of road projects taking place over the next two years which could cause disruption, and are looking to carry out this work once the bulk of that has been completed and the roads freed up.

“It is vital that we stay on top of keeping our highways in good condition.”

Meanwhile Lancashire County Council is also submitting two bids for funding and is asking for a contribution of £4.3 to 5m towards the hoped for £21m new road which is intended to link the M55 directly with St Annes. A report to the committee noted: “There is currently no direct, modern standard road link between the M55 motorway and St Annes.”

It points out that significant employment and housing growth is planned for the vicinity.