Weight limits will be introduced and speed limits highlighted in an attempt to prevent a new road in north west Preston from having a knock-on effect on the existing local highway network.
The two-mile East-West link road will connect Lightfoot Lane to the Preston Western Distributor – the new dual carriageway linking the A583 Riversway with the M55 motorway.
When planning permission was granted for the overall scheme late last year, residents raised safety concerns about the potential for the link road to lead to increased traffic on Tabley Lane – which the new route crosses. A condition was imposed which meant that highways bosses had to design a so-called “gateway feature” to discourage car drivers from using Tabley Lane – and bar most HGVs from it altogether.
Details of the measures have now been approved by Lancashire County Council’s development control committee.
Immediately to the south of the junction of the link road and Tabley Lane, notices encouraging “careful driving” and new road signs and markings highlighting the 30mph speed limit will be installed.
Meanwhile, between Tabley Lane’s junction with Sandy Lane in the north and Tag Lane in the south, a 7.5 tonne weight restriction will be introduced.
Papers presented to the committee state that the link road will provide “a much more convenient way [for HGVs] to reach the primary road network than using Tabley Lane South, as they do at present…thereby helping to protect residential amenity and road safety on this section of highway”.
Members were told that “exceptional” load vehicles of over 40 tonnes accessing the Melbourne Park estate would be unable to use the new link road because of the turning capacity at its junction with Tabley Lane. Drivers would have to continue using the existing route – which they would be permitted to do – as they would be accessing a location within the restricted area, rather than using it as a cut through.
The committee also approved proposed drainage features along the Preston Western Distributor Road to prevent the new route causing flooding in the area.
Water collected in the road gullies will be directed into a series of ponds to be created alongside the route. It will then be released at a controlled rate into the watercourse.