Businesses demand urgent action to solve Preston traffic chaos

Photo Neil Cross
Traffic chaos and confusion after the Fishergate roadworks were officially completed this week
Photo Neil Cross Traffic chaos and confusion after the Fishergate roadworks were officially completed this week
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City centre businesses have called on County Hall to sort out Preston’s traffic troubles - and fast.

Gridlock returned to the main shopping streets over the Bank Holiday weekend in a flashback to Christmas chaos.

Once again police had to be called in to sort out the mess which left some drivers stuck for more than two hours.

Now bosses from the powerful Business Improvement District (BID) have called for temporary peak period traffic lights to be installed to restore order.

LCC officers have rejected that option, although they have revealed they are now looking at stopping traffic turning right out of Butler Street.

BID say many of their 800 members have suffered as a result of the congestion and have demanded action “with the minimum of delay.”

“We are absolutely committed to seeing improvement measures introduced in the very short term and are continuing to ask LCC to recognise that Preston city centre has an issue with congestion,” said BID chairman John Boydell.

“Local businesses are plainly feeling the pressure. Businesses aren’t just buildings they are made up of real people and real jobs, and LCC must ensure that a workable solution is implemented soon.”

BID leaders have been talking to LCC since November over the effects on traffic of the controversial “shared space” scheme in Fishergate.

“We have been calling for remedial measures to be introduced with the minimum of delay,” added Mr Boydell. “Unfortunately this has been an unnecessarily protracted process and one that has been frustrating for business and members of the public.”

Daniel Herbert, LCC highway network manager, said: “A lot of work has been taking place to look into this situation and resolve these issues as swiftly as we can. We are currently putting plans together to permanently stop traffic turning right from Butler Street.

“The move aims to help the flow of traffic along Fishergate as a whole, especially reducing congestion next to the railway station and Fishergate Shopping Centre, which was a significant problem in the run up to Christmas. The temporary order helped the situation and a permanent solution is now being planned.”