New Preston suburban railway station moves a step closer

Plans for a new railway station in North West Preston have accelerated after Lancashire County Council approved the use of powers to acquire any land it needs for the multi-million pound project.

Saturday, 5th December 2020, 12:22 pm

The authority’s cabinet supported the use of compulsory purchase orders – should they become necessary – as part of work to construct the facility at Cottam Parkway. Separate negotiations are already under way with landowners.

The park and ride station will be located on a parcel of land west of Lea Road and east of Sidgreaves Lane, near to the former site of Lea Road Station, which closed back in 1938.

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The view from Skeffington Road along the South Fylde line in the direction of the proposed new Cottam Parkway station (image: Neil Cross)

It will serve the rapidly growing population in that part of the city, where more than 6,000 new homes are ultimately due to be built.

Situated on the South Fylde line – which runs between Preston and Blackpool – it is hoped that the £24m development will help reduce traffic congestion at pinch-points in and around the city.

The station is also intended to improve access to existing and new employment opportunities at the Enterprise Zone at Warton. That aim would be achieved in combination with the under-construction Preston Western Distributor, linking the A583 with a new junction on the M55.

No opening date for the station has yet been set, but the government’s cash contribution of £22.3m – obtained via the Transforming Cities Fund earlier this year – came with a condition that it must be spent by 2023. A further £2.1m is being provided locally, including the use of funds from the region’s City Deal.

The railway line crossing Lea Road, close to where the new Cottam Parkway station will be built

Michael Green, the county council’s member for economic development, environment and planning, told a cabinet meeting that the station would ”make a massive improvement to [Lancashire’s] infrastructure and [be] a great boost to that part of the county”.

The main access to the station and its associated car park will be north of the railway line, on the eastbound line side – with a footbridge providing access to the westbound platform south of the line.

A new roundabout is proposed on Cottam Link Road at its junction with Sidgreaves Lane. The road will then head south on the western side of Sidgreaves Lane and bridge the Lancaster Canal.

Before joining Cottam Parkway car park, the access road will cut across Sidgreaves Lane, where a new T-junction is proposed. It then continues east, parallel to the new station car park, and culminates in a turning area for station pick up and drop off.

A bus and cycle gate link is proposed to join the turning area to the existing Lea Road, preventing through traffic between Lea Road and Sidgreaves Lane. The remaining sections of the existing Sidgreaves Lane – running parallel to the new road and its bridge over the canal – will be retained as a segregated route solely for non-motorised road users.

Highways cabinet member Keith Iddon described the scheme as “a vital part of our plans to provide the sustainable transport networks needed to support economic growth in Preston and the Fylde”.