Preston gets £40m to sort out transport issues in today's Budget

A new rail station at Cottam to serve thousands of new homes being built in the north of Preston is now on track after the city was awarded £40m to sort out its transport problems in today's Budget.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 4:18 pm
A new 25m railway station at Cottam is planned to serve thousands of homes in the north of the city.
A new 25m railway station at Cottam is planned to serve thousands of homes in the north of the city.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the cash as part of a huge investment programme in the regions which Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised in last December's General Election campaign.

Lancashire County Council had put in a bid for up to £182m from the Transforming Cities Fund for improving rail, bus and "active" travel in the Preston area to tackle growing congestion problems.

But in the end the Government only committed less than a quarter of that, with £25m of the funding earmarked for the Cottam Parkway station on the Preston to Blackpool line.

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It is not clear what the remaining £15m will be spent on, although a proposed replacement for the Old Tram Bridge across the River Ribble, connecting Preston and South Ribble, could cost up to £10m on its own.

Other projects suggested in the original bid included "enhancing" major roads within the city centre, building new bus lanes and cycleways, and redesigning two major road junctions - Ringway with Friargate and Fishergate Hill with Strand Road.

Preston was one of 12 cities shortlisted in December for a handout in the Transforming Cities Fund. Others to benefit from today's budget announcement included Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Stoke, Sheffield and Halifax.

When Preston was shortlisted, Coun Keith Iddon, LCC cabinet member for transport, said: "These are really exciting plans for the Preston area and I am very hopeful that the Department of Transport will look on them favourably."

Preston Council's deputy leader Coun Peter Moss said of the bid: "These plans outline essential ways to relieve pressure on roads and promote alternative means of travel to the motor car."