Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse . . . two more sets of roadworks about to start in Preston

Drivers beware! Preston's traffic nightmare is about to get even worse.

By Brian Ellis
Saturday, 12th February 2022, 8:16 am

Fed-up motorists stuck in jams in the city centre over the past week are now facing even more hold-ups as two other major road schemes get underway on Monday.

A section of busy Strand Road will be closed completely from 9:30am until the start of April so contractors can re-lay the rail tracks which cross it.

And a multi-million pound scheme to lay almost three-and-a-half miles of electricity cables in streets across Fulwood will also get underway on the same day, with work expected to take up to six months.

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Strand Road will close at 9:30am on Monday for almost two months.

The two projects come after a week of chaos caused by the closure of two lanes of the Ringway dual carriageway through the city centre and parts of both Corporation Street and Marsh Lane.

Drivers have been caught up in serious congestion trying to get in and out of Preston - something which is scheduled to go on for 14 months until March next year.

And with Strand Road now set to be shut down between Hartington Road and Fishergate Hill for up to seven weeks, coupled with excavation work on major routes in Fulwood like Garstang Road, Watling Street Road and Black Bull Lane, motorists are set to face months of misery.

The Strand Road closure is necessary while the train tracks, branded as dangerous by cyclists, are replaced with more bike-friendly rails.

Map showing where Strand Road will be closed and where the traffic diversions are.

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Nigel Smith, from the traffic management company Ventbrook Ltd, today urged hard-pressed drivers to be patient while the work is going on.

"Planning for this closure has been going on for well over a year," he told the Post. "And obviously it is going to have an impact on the highway network.

"A lot of people use Strand Road, but we have diversions in place that will take traffic around it.

Cyclists and pedestrians will still be able to use Strand Road during the work.

"We understand the frustration, we really do. We are drivers and we get stuck in traffic jams ourselves. It isn't nice.

"

But this work is necessary. It needs to be done. The train tracks need to be replaced because people say they are very dangerous.

"Shutting Strand Road is the only option. They looked at trying to do it in two halves, but the job would have taken twice as long and would have had a bigger impact on traffic for longer.

The Strand Road rail crossing is being replaced after numerous accidents involving cyclists over the years.

"I would urge people to please be patient. There are diversions in place and they are well signposted. But it will obviously cause some disruption.

"I would imagine it will be worst on Monday when it starts, but hopefully it will ease as drivers get used to the road being closed off.

"We are not closing Strand Road until 9:30 so that we can get the rush hour out of the way."

Traffic coming along the other half of Strand Road from Water Lane will be directed up onto the flyover towards Penwortham.

Vehicles coming out of Portway will not be allowed to turn right and will be directed left and up to the flyover.

No traffic will be able to turn into Strand Road from the Fishergate Hill end, apart from access to the Chorley Nissan car showroom or the Sea Cadets building opposite.

Access for pedestrians and cyclists will be maintained at all times, say the company.

The Strand Road project kicks off at the same time as the Fulwood cabling work which is expected to last up to six months.

While roads will not be closed fully, temporary traffic lights will be in place in the roads where work is being carried out, leading to hold-ups, especially on major roads like Garstang Road, Watling Street Road and Black Bull Lane.

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