Broughton Bypass to be named after Victoria Cross hero

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The long-awaited Broughton Bypass is set to be named in honour of a local war hero.

The £32m bypass will be named after Private James Towers, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his actions in the First World War.

James Towers, awarded the VC in First World War

James Towers, awarded the VC in First World War

James Towers Way was officially agreed by Preston Council yesterday.

Coun Robert Boswell, executive member for community and environment for Preston Council, said: “It is with great pleasure that I am able to grant this honour to the memory of James Towers, with a road so significant to the village he grew up in.

“This tribute will enable us to pass the story of his bravery and sacrifice onto further generations.”

In 1918, Private Towers volunteered to relay a message as a runner after five people had already lost their lives attempting it.

I’m proud that this new road will bear his name.

He made his way across No Man’s Land, relayed his message and brought support for his company.

He was serving in the 2nd Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in northern France.

The new road, which was known as the Broughton Bypass during construction, opens on October 5. Construction work was carried out by HOCHTIEF UK, on behalf of Lancashire County Council (LCC).

Coun Geoff Driver CBE, leader of LCC, said: “It’s almost a century since Private Towers’ heroic actions, which makes this a fitting tribute. He knew the dangers he faced and risked his life to save his comrades.

“I’m proud that this new road will bear his name.”

James’ granddaughter Glynis Castle, who lives in Preston, said: “We are very proud and pleased with this tribute to my grandfather. It seems very appropriate that it’s in Broughton, as he lived and worked here.

“I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up. If my mum had still been here, I know that she would have been very pleased as well.”