A controversial £123m link road scheme in north Lancashire will save motorists just five minutes on their daily commute, campaigners against the scheme claimed today.
A public examination on plans for the Heysham M6 Link Road closed on September 20, and a decision on whether the scheme can go ahead is expected in March next year.
But Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM), the group which has campaigned against the scheme since its inception, say its cost cannot be justified and Lancashire County Council bosses should have looked at other transport measures in stead.
A statement from the group said: “The manager for the Link Road project, Steven McCreesh, admitted very early on, ‘The Link Road is not intended to solve Lancaster’s problems,’ which will come as a surprise and disappointment to most local people.
“The forecast timesavings on journeys made on the new road have dwindled to just five minutes – at peak times only.
“What a vast amount of money to spend for so little obvious improvement – this is a route for long-distance lorry drivers, but they will hardly notice the negligible improvement.”
County Coun Michael Green, cabinet member for highways, transport, economic development and planning at LCC, said: “The scheme will bring ongoing regeneration benefits with construction alone employing over 3,000 people. A minimum of 100 local unemployed people will receive training and jobs during construction.
“We have never claimed that the link road alone will solve the traffic problems in Lancaster and have always been clear that other measures are needed as well to reduce city centre congestion and provide alternatives to the use of cars. Many of these measures have been delivered, with more to come.”