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M55 link road: Land buy-up begins for new route

The route of the new M55 link road
The route of the new M55 link road
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A major scheme to create a link road to the M55 has moved one step closer.

Lancashire County Council has now started securing land to build a dual carriageway link road between the A583 Blackpool Road in Lea with the M55.

The road will link up the west of the city with the motorwsay and will comprise 4.3km of dual carriageway.

Since the plans have been officially agreed by the county council’s cabinet, officers can now begin make and advertise side roads and compulsory purchase orders for land and rights, as well as changes to the existing highway network and two bridge schemes, as the new road will cross the Lancaster Canal and the Millennium Ribble Link.

No houses are taken or will need to be demolished for the scheme, with three gardens affected and a single business which requires the agreed relocation of some buildings

A new parkway rail station is planned on the Preston-Blackpool line at Cottam, which will take its access from this road scheme.

County Council leader Geoff Driver said: “This scheme will create three new roads on the western side of Preston, from the M55 towards Blackpool Road and Riversway. This will benefit residents and businesses not just in the local area, but across Preston, South Ribble, large parts of the Fylde coast, and further afield.

“We’re already talking with landowners to see if they will agree to sell or grant us the necessary rights by agreement. This is an important stage in the process as we can only begin construction once we have the land we need.

“A new M55 junction will reduce congestion by creating more capacity on the network, in particular at Broughton roundabout at Junction 1 of the M55 and on the local roads around it.

“It will also improve access on the west side of Preston, so that people don’t need to use narrow country lanes.”

These roads will also support new housing and business development in the area. There will be opportunities for new bus priority measures, improvements to local public spaces and initiatives to encourage walking and cycling.