Drivers face two months of disruption as fresh works start on Preston's Cycle Superhighway project in Penwortham
Residents who won a famous victory over council plans to make a street in Penwortham one way are facing weeks of disruption after new roadworks were announced today.
County Hall bosses have given the go-ahead to two months of work on the controversial junction of Kingsway with Liverpool Road, starting a week on Sunday.
The works are part of the Preston Cycle Superhighway to build a continuous two-way cycle track from Penwortham town centre, across the River Ribble to Broadgate.
Originally the highways authority wanted to make Kingsway one way into Liverpool Road to eliminate the danger of traffic crossing the cycleway.
But after hundreds of locals objected, LCC changed its mind and agreed to keep it two-way with adaptations to the junction itself to make it safer.
Today the county council announced a two-phase scheme to start on October 17 and finish before Christmas.
Phase 1 will see Kingsway operate with only a left turn in and left turn out arrangement, eliminating the need for vehicles to cross Liverpool Road until the works are completed.
Phase 2, which will not start until after November 2, will mean the temporary closure of Kingsway at the junction until works are completed, estimated to be by Friday December 17.
A signed diversion will take traffic down Priory Lane, which will become no parking for the duration of the work - traffic is currently allowed to park for up to one hour on the westerly side of the road.
The council today urged people to allow extra time when travelling around Penwortham during construction. It said pedestrian access along Liverpool Road and Kingsway would be maintained and access to St Fillan's Medical Centre, close to the junction, would have to be via the diversion.
The Penwortham to Preston Cycle Superhighway is being funded by the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund. LCC says the scheme aims to provide for a significant potential demand for cycling along this route, and build on the success of the new bypass which has helped to reduce congestion in Penwortham along Liverpool Road.
Coun Charlie Edwards, LCC cabinet member for highways and transport said: "We recently consulted on the creation of a one way system on Kingsway, and after listening to your feedback we revised the scheme to maintain the two-way traffic flow.
"However, a short term closure of Kingsway is needed to allow us to carry out this important work to improve connections between Penwortham and Preston with a dedicated walking and cycling route.
"I'd like to apologise in advance for any disruption or inconvenience these works may cause and hope that you will please bear with us.
"The decision to close Kingsway for this temporary period hasn't been taken lightly, but it will not only ensure the safety of our road workers but also allow the work to be finished sooner. This will mean we are able to open the road fully before the Christmas period and minimise disruption for residents and local businesses."