Lancashire County Council reveals final designs for Preston city centre

Lancashire County Council has unveiled the final designs for a major scheme to regenerate the Friargate and Ringway areas, as well as details of when work will take place.
Aerial view of Ringway main junction and peace gardenAerial view of Ringway main junction and peace garden
Aerial view of Ringway main junction and peace garden

It says the scheme will make the area more attractive, improve connections between parts of the city centre for a better leisure and shopping experience, and improve facilities for sustainable travel.

As part of its successful Transforming Cities Fund bid, the council has been awarded £14.7m to regenerate the Friargate North and Ringway area in line with other modern cities.

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View of Peace Garden areaView of Peace Garden area
View of Peace Garden area
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Following a public engagement exercise in the spring, the council’s planning team have been finalising designs for the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway scheme and putting together a construction programme. The construction of the works will start in mid-November 2021 on Corporation Street and is planned to be complete by spring 2023.

County Councillor Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is essential work to allow for the improvements to take place, making the city centre a far more attractive place to be. Although these works will cause disruption to traffic through the city centre, please bear with us and we can look forward to the long-term benefits of reconnecting both sides of Preston city centre for a better leisure and shopping experience and improved facilities for sustainable travel.

“We need to start these very substantial works at this time to ensure all the city centre improvement works are completed within the funding deadline of Spring 2023. I realise that carrying out roadworks on the approach to Christmas is not ideal.

“Access to all car parks will be maintained throughout the works to allow shoppers to get into the city.

View through Peace Garden towards St George's CentreView through Peace Garden towards St George's Centre
View through Peace Garden towards St George's Centre
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“Clearly marked diversion routes will guide traffic when necessary and we will keep our webpage and social media updated with what works are on the road, so that people know how to get to where they need to go as easily as possible.”

Phase 1 – Corporation Street

The work will start on Corporation Street and there will be full and part road closures until the New Year so that all of the bus services can be moved to Corporation Street from Friargate, allowing Friargate to be pedestrianised.

From the middle of November, Corporation Street will need to be closed between Marsh Lane and Heatley Street for around three weeks to allow the construction of new bus stops with raised boarding platforms for easy access, and also to allow us to resurface the road.

Friargate looking towards Heatley Street junctionFriargate looking towards Heatley Street junction
Friargate looking towards Heatley Street junction

After the initial closure, Corporation Street will be reopened with narrowed carriageways and temporary traffic signals between Heatley Street and Ringway. These measures will continue until the New Year, when Heatley Street will need to close again to safely improve and surface the footways and carriageway on this very narrow road. This closure will again last for about three weeks.

Phase 2 – Ringway

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In early 2022 work will start on moving the central reservation on Ringway southwards to make room for a new two-way cycle path on the north side of the carriageway.

These works will continue until Spring 2023 and will involve closing the outer lane of Ringway in each direction to allow the works to take place safely.

Phase 3 - Friargate

In spring 2022, work will also start to bring about the pedestrianisation of Friargate North. Between Ringway and Marsh Lane, Friargate will be permanently closed to traffic, and the bus services currently running on Friargate will be moved to Corporation Street. High-quality paving, trees, benches, and the central service routes/cycleways will be installed at this time.

The work will be carried out in sections and access for pedestrians and for deliveries to businesses will be maintained.

A liaison officer will be working with businesses. Clearly marked pedestrian routes will help guide people through the area.