Section of M6 to stay closed for roadworks

LANCASTER and MORECAMBE  31-10-16  - ROAD OPEN
The first motorists drive on the newly opened Bay Gateway, the new M6 link road, Heysham, developed by Costain.

LANCASTER and MORECAMBE 31-10-16 - ROAD OPEN The first motorists drive on the newly opened Bay Gateway, the new M6 link road, Heysham, developed by Costain.

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A busy section of the M6 will have one lane and its hard shoulder closed for most of spring 2017.

Lancashire County Council’s new link road between junction 34 of the M6 and Heysham has now opened but finishing work will be mean the areas remain closed.

Although the Bay Gateway is now fully open to traffic, work on the entire project is due to be completed during spring 2017.

Aspects such as landscaping, motorway works and signing will be finished over the winter.

The long-awaited new road will make the area more appealing for businesses by reducing travel times and increasing connections, say Highways England, which also says the route will reduce congestion and help people to get around the area.

The Heysham to M6 Link Road is one of Lancashire’s top priority transport projects. The new road will complete the long awaited connection from the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula to Junction 34 of the M6, and will be a 4.8km dual carriageway with a footpath and cycleway along the entire route.

The project also involves a fully remodelled junction 34, with new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a 600 space park and ride site.

And according to Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward, the £140m route is already showing its worth.

The three-mile dual carriageway means ferry passengers can now avoid congestion in Lancaster, reducing journey times to and from the port.

Mr Woodward said: “The opening of the Bay Gateway is a very welcome development, reducing the travelling time between Heysham and the motorway network.

In the first few days, the benefits of the direct link have been clear to see.”

Heysham is the closest port to several major offshore infrastructure projects. These include the proposed National Grid Connection of Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria and the Dong Energy Walney Extension wind farm.

And Mr Woodward has welcomed the announcement that Peel Ports will invest £10 million in Heysham port.

The work will include replacing an old linkspan used by Seatruck Ferries, an additional pontoon to support offshore crew transfer vessels and improvements to the port’s IT and terminal operating systems.