Delays expected as £14.7m scheme to reconnect Preston's fractured city centre gets underway

Work on a £14.7m scheme to regenerate Preston's Friargate and Ringway area will get underway on Monday.

County Hall chiefs are warning people to allow extra time for their journeys in that part of the city centre as excavation teams start tests on sections of road and pavement.

Engineers will dig investigatory trenches in 10 locations along Friargate on weekdays through to September 10 to assess what is underneath one of Preston oldest roads.

The work is in advance of the pedestrianisation of part of Friargate North and also a new junction at its intersection with Ringway. The scheme is intended to eventually reconnect the two halves of Preston's shopping centre which were split when the inner ring road was built in the late 1960s.

How Friargate could look when work is completed.

LCC has been granted £14.7m from the Government's Transforming Cities Fund "to bring the area in line with other modern cities."

Traffic management measures will be in place on both roads, including footpath diversions and lane closures.

Information gained from the investigations will help LCC finalise designs for the new public realm areas.

"We appreciate people’s patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we carry out these investigation works which will help us bring this exciting new scheme to Preston," said Coun Charles Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport

A new look for the junction of Friargate with Rongway.

“Transforming Friargate North and Ringway will reconnect Preston city centre for a better leisure and shopping experience and encourage sustainable travel.

“We will be carrying out a range of improvements in and around the city to promote public transport, walking and cycling, enabling more people to leave the car at home."

Public engagement was carried out in March this year and the feedback is being used to help inform the design of the scheme.

The final designs will be available in September 2021. The construction of the scheme is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2023.