This is what you need to know about new road works between Blackpool and St Annes near Blackpool Airport's enterprise zone

Drivers are being warned that one of the main routes between Blackpool and St Annes is set to see road works next week.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 3:30 pm

As part of the £5m sports village facilities at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, work is to be undertaken to improve access to the site off Common Edge Road.

The first step will be to check the road foundations and drains system as well as other utilities in the area, which stands on Blackpool’s notorious sandy soil.

Drivers will have to cope with temporary traffic signals and stop/go boards to help the flow of traffic in the area.

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Common Edge Road where road works are due for two days in February to check that further work can go ahead later this year

The works come as the other main route between Blackpool and St Annes is hampered by road works - on Clifton Drive, between Squires Gate Lane and Highbury Road West as the speed limit is cut from 40mph to 30 mph.

The work at Common Edge Road will take place on Wednesday, February 16 and Thursday, February 17.

There will be activity on Queensway, Common Edge Road and Division Lane between the off-peak hours of 9am-3pm, to help keep congestion at a minimum.

A spokesman for Blackpool Council’s highways team said: “Access for residents will be maintained where possible, although short delays are likely.

The work will help open up new areas of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

“Signs will be displayed with dates and times of the planned works.

“If you need to make a journey through the works, please allow a little extra time. Operatives stationed throughout the site will be happy to assist.

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and thank you for your co-operation and your patience while we continue to Make Blackpool Better.”

The news of the road works at Common Edge Road comes as Blackpool Council approved the latest edition of the masterplan for the £73m enterprise zone and approved the forecast expenditure to the end of financial year 2022/23.

A new entrance will lead to the industrial areas plus the new sports pitches and changing rooms being built off Common Edge Road

The report to the council said that progress on the enterprise zone, now in its sixth year, had been held up by coronavirus and uncertainties surrounding Brexit which had put off some potential tenants for the industrial estate.

This year work had gone ahead on the sports facilities at the eastern end of the site despite a seven month delay in securing planning consent for the new changing facilities off Common Edge Road as a result of problems in securing Sport England approval and removal of their objection.

They are due to be completed by May.

But the report said: “In excess of 1,950 jobs have been facilitated at the Enterprise Zone since April 2016 and there remains a healthy pipeline of enquiries.”

The road is one of the busy links between Blackpool and St Annes

The 25 year project aims to create 5,000 jobs.

But rising costs of materials caused by the global pandemic, delivery issues, plus an increase of 25 per cent for quotes for a new primary substation and cable diversions to support the data sector, have meant that more money is needed to be borrowed to prime the project. It is expected that after 25 years it will add £2bn to the area’s economy.

The report said: “The anticipated gross spend to March 2023 will now exceed the currently approved figure of £28.8m, plus the cost of Prudential Borrowing by £0.92m totalling £29.72m, and it is proposed that authority to prudentially borrow is increased by £1m to £29.8m to meet the forecast expenditure to allow the delivery of the forecast expenditure to the end of financial year 22/23.”

The report said that the next twelve months will see the translation of the preparatory work undertaken this year into activity on the ground with the completion of the sports facilities and commencement of new highways and utility infrastructure construction within the Towns Fund project.

The Common Edge Road road works will open up 10.5 hectares of previously inaccessible development land for new industrial sites.

Work is being carried out by consultant engineers Wilde and is due to be completed in mid 2022 to enable phased delivery of the road construction after planning permission is confirmed by Blackpool and Fylde councils.

The anticipated construction of the new road layout is set to commence in May or June with an eight week delivery time.

It is planned to spend £19.16m in the next 14 months to the end of financial year 2022/23 on key property acquisitions, construction of changing rooms, car park and 3G pitch off Common Edge Road, design and early construction of the Eastern Gateway Access road and Common Edge highway works.

It will also pay for the provision of sub–stations at the airport, upgrading of water mains at the airport and the construction of two additional points of access to the airport estate to allow the construction of two new private aircraft hangars.

At the moment, detailed design work for the 3G floodlight pitch and for the associated floodlight rugby pitch is ongoing and it is hoped they will be ready for use in October for the start of the new season.

Existing changing facilities at Jepson Way will continue in use for the new sports pitches until the new changing facility is complete.

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