Safety concerns over "speed trap" on delayed South Ribble link road
Residents of a quiet cul-de-sac in South Ribble say they fear for their safety when a new road opens close to the entrance to their estate.
The cross-borough link road will connect The Cawsey in Penwortham with Carrwood Road in Walton-le-Dale.
The route is being paid for by developer Morris Homes as part of a planning agreement for 281 houses currently under construction on the former gas works site in Lostock Hall.
It includes a bridge at the Carrwood Road end of the connection which will cross a bridleway at the Preston Junction nature reserve.
But locals living in Loxwood Close were alarmed to see the height of the structure which has now been put in place - and the gradient which it will create for traffic approaching the existing stretch of road.
“Our concern is how it’s going to be connected and levelled off - and whether we are going to be able to get in and out of our street safely,” Stuart Clay said.
“The line of sight will be crucial - because even though it’s going to be a 30mph limit, we know what will happen.
“The opinion in the close is that the cars will be coming down so fast they’ll be flying - so we’ll actually be able to drive out beneath them,” he added wryly.
The link road had been expected to open last month, but Morris Homes says a minor land ownership issue - which has now been resolved - has pushed the completion date back to “early summer”.
It is hoped that the route will relieve congestion through Lostock Hall by providing easier access to the A6 London Road and the motorway network.
However, another Loxwood Close resident - who is also concerned about negotiating a way out of his road when the traffic starts to flow - warns that the link route risks replacing one bottleneck with another.
“It will be a nightmare with all the extra cars trying to get out onto the A6,” Gary Gaynor said.
“The traffic on the dual carriageway barely slows down and that makes it difficult to turn right to get towards the motorways. And if cars start backing up on Carrwood Road, there’s no space to get past them and turn left towards Preston either.”
South Ribble borough councillor for Walton-le-Dale West, Mike Nelson, has called for traffic lights to be installed at the A6 junction.
“That should have been made part of the planning agreement with the housebuilders, so that they had to pay for that, too,” he said.
“And as for how the new road will connect to Carwood Wood, I want to see the technical drawings showing the safety measures.
“We’ve got school kids, walkers and cyclists around here - and this is going to be a speed trap,” Coun Nelson added.
A toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists is planned on Carrwood Road close to the former tramway which now operates as a cycling route between Preston and Bamber Bridge.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We have been working with the developer throughout construction to allow the road to be opened and available for public use as soon as possible when it is finished; however, the developer is responsible for its delivery.
"Discussions are ongoing with the developer on final tie-in detail from the new road to Carwood Road to ensure that its construction is suitable."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for South Ribble Borough Council said, “The works currently being carried out on site follow a detailed planning application which has been approved by South Ribble Council . The approval process required detailed consultation with all relevant authorities, including Lancashire County Council who act as highway authority.
"The site will be required to be developed in line with this approval process. In terms of the costs for the road and the bridge, this is a development cost for Morris Homes.”