There’ll be an early Christmas present for Penwortham residents as the new bypass is now scheduled to open on Monday, December 2.
The long-awaited road was set to open in the New Year, but is ahead of schedule, thanks to the efforts of the team building it.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We know that this is an important moment for Penwortham and the surrounding area, as people have been waiting many years for a solution to the daily congestion issues affecting Liverpool Road and the centre of the town, and it’s now nearly here.
“Aside from any unforeseen circumstances, we’ll open John Horrocks Way on Monday, December 2 for people to use.”
Coinciding with the opening, a section of Liverpool Road will close to vehicles for three weeks, while the final work is carried out on the junction with the new road. This can only be done once John Horrocks Way has opened and traffic levels have reduced along Liverpool Road.
Existing cycling and walking routes along the northern side of Liverpool Road, near Howick Cross Lane, will remain open during this time.
The work will affect anyone travelling on Liverpool Road between the new bypass and the junction with Howick Cross Lane. There will be no access during this time onto Howick Cross Lane and Howick Moor Lane from Liverpool Road itself, with local diversions in place.
The recommended closure of the slip road from Liverpool Road onto the Guild Way flyover will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on November 7 and is recommended for approval.
The proposed change is designed to discourage through traffic on Liverpool Road and promote the use of the bypass, but has met with a mixed reaction from locals.
Work is also currently taking place at the junction of Liverpool Road and Leyland Road to provide for local traffic using the Guild Way flyover and to encourage drivers travelling out of Preston to use Golden Way once the new bypass opens.
Among other changes, there will be better provision for cyclists, the speed limit through Penwortham town centre will be reduced to 20mph, and changes will be introduced at the junction with Cop Lane.
Councillor Iddon added: "We looked carefully at the issues that people raised with us about the proposal to close the slip road. I also spoke with our highways team to understand how it will affect people's different journeys.
"Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact us about this proposal. It's important that we could do this to understand any local issues.
"It will clearly affect some people in parts of Penwortham more than others, but I've driven the route myself and there's only a small difference in time to go down Penwortham Hill, towards the Leyland Roundabout and onto Golden Way.
"If our Cabinet agree the proposal, then the slip road will be closed to coincide with the opening of John Horrocks Way."
The new Penwortham Bypass and the related road layout changes in the town are part of the City Deal. This is an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and Homes England.
The aim of the new bypass is to remove traffic through the centre of Penwortham by providing a new route from the A59 Liverpool Road at Howick to the A582 at Broad Oak Roundabout.
The City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.
Find out more about the work on the new road, click here
Why will the road be named after John Horrocks?
Born in 1768, John Horrocks is one of the leading figures in Lancashire's textile revolution. His company had several mills employing thousands of people.
John lived in Penwortham and represented Preston as MP.
After his death in 1804, the company continued to operate, creating the Centenary Mill on New Hall Lane in Preston, which still stands today.