Lancashire County Council is bringing in changes to the traffic flow in Preston to ease congestion in the busy run up to Christmas.
And shoppers are being urged to take advantage of free parking available at locations around the city centre to spread the load across the local road network.
The traffic changes will officially begin tomorrow.
As in previous years, traffic emerging onto Fishergate from Butler Street, which serves the railway station and Fishergate Shopping Centre car parks, will only be able to turn left and will be diverted onto Ringway via Bow Lane.
Fishergate traffic will also be prevented from turning right onto Corporation Street, resulting in only buses being allowed to use Corporation Street, helping to cut queues and ease local pinch points that affect the flow of traffic.
The top of Chapel Street will also be closed to traffic coming from Winckley Square, but Fishergate traffic will still be able to turn left onto Chapel Street.
Timings to traffic signals at the junction of Corporation Street/Ringway and Bow Lane/Ringway will also be tweaked to account for these changes and keep traffic moving efficiently.
Preston’s Business Improvement District (BID) has co-ordinated a free parking offer across the festive period from the Fishergate Centre, St George’s Centre, Preston City Council (Market car park) and Lancashire County Council (Arthur Street car park) to make life easier for shoppers. UCLan is also offering their car parks for free at weekends.
Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Preston city centre, like many other cities, gets very busy in the run up to Christmas and we’re working to improve the experience for shoppers, and boost businesses, by easing congestion as much as we can.
“This plan has worked in previous years, and we’re ready to bring it in early if necessary to keep traffic moving.
“There’s also free parking on offer in a number of places around the city centre and I’d urge people to check out the details on BID’s website. City centre roads will always be busy at this time of year, but it will help everyone if people make use of all the available parking capacity and avoid driving through the centre if they don’t need to.”
Coun Fillis added: “Businesses reported an upturn in business last Christmas following the first phase of improvements on Fishergate, and I’m sure that shoppers will have an even better experience following the further investment made this year.”
You can find details of the free parking organised by Preston BID, and other useful information, at www.bidpreston.co.uk/events/festive-parking.