This is when the roadworks at Skippool Road are set to end

Motorists in Blackpool will be able to drive along Skippool Road once again from next Monday as roadworks there are due to end.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:26 am

Work has been carried out along the A585 since May 2020 by Kier on behalf of National Highways’ as part of a £150m bypass project near Poulton-le-Fylde.

National Highways, formerly Highways England, is building a new dual carriageway bypass around Little Singleton and improving junctions at Windy Harbour and Skippool.

The road links Fleetwood with the M55 and the new bypass is designed to help remove a significant congestion bottleneck and support the delivery of new homes and jobs in the area.

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The scheme came in for some criticism from residents in the area who questioned whether it would properly solve the historic traffic problems along the length of the A585, but the route was chosen following public consultation and approved by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in April 2020.

Skippool Road was closed on September 13, to allow the road works to develop, but is now scheduled to reopen on Monday, October 25.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, who was under secretary in the Department for Transport until February of last year, visited the construction site on Friday.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP, Paul Maynard, left, visiting the roadworks along the A585

Mr Maynard, who has also served on the Transport Select Committee, was given a tour by the project team who updated him on the scheme, which is due to open to traffic in 2023.

Mr Maynard said: “I campaigned for this relief road before being elected over 11 years ago, so it is great to see the progress being made by National Highways and Kier. This new road will reduce congestion and speed up journey times.

“However, it is not the end of the works needed, in my view, and further sections of the A585 may need looking at in the years to come.

"With work on the Fleetwood to Poulton line, and this new road we are really opening up the North Fylde Coast to inward investment creating quality jobs and developing high level skills.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard visiting National Highways and Kier staff at the A585

The scheme is still ongoing with National Highways notifying drivers this week that Skippool roundabout will continue to have narrow lanes throughout; Mains Lane will have narrow Lanes to allow utility works to be carried out; while Lodge Lane and Garstang Road East will have temporary traffic lights.

Garstang New Road and Windy Harbour junction will have narrow lanes to allow utility works to progress.

National Highways’ delivery director Stewart Jones said: “We’re making good progress with this scheme and are motivated by the end goal of better safety, reduced congestion and impact on traffic, and the removal of a major bottleneck on the main road to Fleetwood.

"Without these vital improvements it’s likely traffic and congestion would increase and accident numbers would rise.

Jonathan Hornsby, project manager at Kier Highways, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Maynard, let him chat to one of our apprentices and provide a tour of the project. Everyone here is committed to ongoing collaboration with local people as we work together to deliver this important improvement.”