Search continues for park and ride zone

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A park and ride facility could be built at Penwortham – one of several schemes to ease traffic congestion across the county.

Facilities could also be built at two locations close to the planned Heysham bypass (M6 link).

These plans are in addition to a new park and ride facility earmarked for land near Bluebell Way, Fulwood, to reduce congestion around north Preston's industrial estates.

The Fulwood scheme will also ease traffic near junction 1 of the M55 at Broughton.

Lancashire County Council planning bosses are hoping all the new facilities will help reduce the number of cars in north Preston, Lancaster and Penwortham.

The planned park and ride for a yet undecided location close to Penwortham would aim to take traffic off the crowded A59 route into Preston city centre.

The county council's sustainable development portfolio holder Coun Tony Martin and transport boss Coun Matthew Tomlinson are currently scouting the Penwortham area for a suitable area of land to build a park and ride.

They have identified the A59 as a pinch point into the city centre and think the park and ride scheme would improve the worsening situation.

Coun Martin said: "We were looking at one of the allotments down there but it is very difficult to tell people they have to go because we want to build a park and ride.

"But one around that area would be good. It is difficult because if you have a big expanse of land people think can we put a Tesco on there or can we put an Asda on there.

"We are looking for a suitable site."

Coun Tomlinson said: "South Ribble would like us to look west of Preston.

"Preston is a busy city with not a lot of main roads going into it. Where we can help to alleviate the pressure we will do so."

The two councillors say that the proposed facilities to be used by Lancaster and Morecambe motorists are dependent on the future of the Heysham M6 Link.

The outcome of the public inquiry on that scheme is expected to be delivered next month, with work beginning at the end of next year if the Planning Inspectorate gives the go-ahead.

Existing park and ride schemes at the Capitol Centre, Walton-le-Dale, and at Port Way are regularly full in the build-up to rush hour.

Coun Martin said new park and ride plans, which are long term proposals, would be "as big as we can get them".

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