DCSIMG

Work begins on new M6 motorway link road

Digging deep: Coun Jennifer Mein (centre), Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw and officials at the sod-cutting ceremony for the link road

Digging deep: Coun Jennifer Mein (centre), Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw and officials at the sod-cutting ceremony for the link road

The first sod has been cut on a new motorway link for the M6.

Lancashire County Council leader Jennifer Mein carried out the ceremony on land near Halton training camp at Lancaster.

The £124.5m road will link a remodelled Junction 34 of the M6 motorway with the Heysham bypass.

The road will run through parts of Halton and Torrisholme, and will include new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a 600 space park and ride site.

The scheme was given consent last year and a last ditch bid to derail it by campaigners Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe (TSLM) failed at the Court of Appeal in November.

Coun Mein said the road would bring benefits for the community and county as a whole.

She said: “We’re very proud of Lancashire County Council’s long history of road building – we were home to the first ever section of motorway when the Preston bypass opened in 1958.

“I’m very pleased we’re now underway with this link to the Morecambe and Heysham peninsula which will become a great example of how investment in better infrastructure can benefit not just communities in the immediate vicinity, but right across the county.

“It will reduce congestion and create local jobs by improving travel to Heysham and Morecambe, and the port, power stations and nearby employment areas.

“Our own staff from teams across the county council have also worked long and hard, overcoming many disappointments and setbacks, to get us to this point.

“We’re very grateful for the help and support of all those who have succeeded in making the link road a reality.”

Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster Council, said: “The city council’s Core Strategy, which was approved in 2008, supports the M6 link and the significant benefits it will bring to our district.

“As well as improving the district’s attractiveness to investors and creating new opportunities for growth, the improved accessibility it brings will also aid regeneration in some of the district’s more deprived areas.”

Andrew Langley, project manager Costain, said: “It’s great the scheme has now started, we must now ensure we deliver this challenging scheme safely and to the highest quality. The scheme’s mission statement is to deliver the Heysham to M6 Link Road leaving a lasting legacy. We’re engaging with stakeholders and local businesses to achieve this objective.”

Costain has a target to hire 100 local unemployed people, with 30 people already having gained jobs.

The road is scheduled to open in summer 2016.

 

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