Bypass revival plans receive mixed reaction

Public consultation: Lancashire County Council's Local Transport Plan roadshow
Public consultation: Lancashire County Council's Local Transport Plan roadshow
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There were mixed reactions from the public at an event to discuss long-awaited plans to build a bypass in Penwortham.

As reported by the Evening Post yesterday, Lancashire County Council has revived plans for a bypass which it says will bring economic benefits to the area, cut commuter times to Preston and ease traffic congestion.

A public consultation meeting on the plans was held at Penwortham Community Centre in Kingsfold Drive as part of a wider consultation roadshow.

One resident from New Longton, who didn’t want to be named said: “It is a lot of money to spend on a bypass. That should be spent on the roads and the footpaths.”

The resident suggested that people should alter their routines, particularly in rush hour, by either setting off earlier or later to relieve the problems.

Colin Taylor, who lives in Howick Cross, said: “Why has it taken 30 years to get to this stage?

“For Preston we need it - but they should have done it 30 years ago.”

Colin Raby from Penwortham added: “The roads are needed. I welcome it.”

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The masterplan sets out the projects we are considering to ensure Lancashire has a transport system that will support a diverse and growing economy in the future.

“These are important issues affecting the whole community, so we’re running this consultation to give residents and businesses a chance to have their say.

“What we are proposing is a new ‘brown route’ that would fit in with plans for a new bridge linking the A582 south of the Ribble with the Preston Western Distributor, a planned new road linking the M55 and the A583.

“This would mean only one major new road in the area would need to be constructed rather than two, had we proposed to keep the blue route.

“These are only proposals at this stage and detailed traffic assessments would be needed to determine the impact on traffic travelling through Penwortham and consider potential redesign of any existing roundabouts and roads.”

On Wednesday, the consultation roadshow was at the Cottam Community Centre in Preston where visitors voiced fears about congestion at Broughton, near Preston.