Penwortham cycle lane plan 'will not cause congestion on Liverpool Road'

The abandonment of plans for a one-way system on a street in Penwortham will not cause traffic to build up at the junction where a right turn was set to have been prohibited.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 8:57 am
Updated Saturday, 4th September 2021, 10:51 am

That was the pledge from Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways Charlie Edwards as he outlined a revised road layout to accommodate the completion of a segregated cycle lane between the town and Preston.

The new section of protected route for bike riders on the A59 Liverpool Road will connect a recently-introduced stretch close to the Cop Lane junction with another running across Penwortham Bridge.

As part of the proposed redesign, highways bosses had planned to make Kingsway one-way, allowing traffic only to exit from it onto Liverpool Road and no longer enter the side street from the main road. The aim was to reduce the number of vehicles crossing the so-called “cycle superhighway”.

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Liverpool Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction - but Lancashire County Council says that there will still be enough room for a right turn into Kingsway (image: Google)

However, the safety measure was met with fierce opposition from locals, leading to a rethink of the revamp and the retention of Kingsway’s two-way status.

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Penwortham one-way plans scrapped, but cycle lane will still go ahead

At a cabinet meeting where the overall scheme – which will include a raised crossing for cyclists and pedestrians at the Kingsway junction – was approved, County Cllr Edwards addressed separate concerns about the potential for the new layout to generate congestion.

The two-way cycle lane – which will operate on the Preston-bound side of Liverpool Road – will see the dual carriageway on the section of the A59 known locally as Penwortham Brow reduced to single lane in each direction. With traffic continuing to be permitted to turn right into Kingsway, the meeting heard that residents feared vehicles heading away from Preston would be stacked back behind motorists choosing to make that manoeuvre.

However, County Cllr Edwards said that the route – along which four bus services operate – would be designed to prevent tailbacks.

“It’s going to be a very wide single carriageway so that [when] anyone is querying up to turn right…you will be able merge out to continue your [journey] – so there will be…good traffic flow in Penwortham.

“We have already liaised with bus operators and they say they are happy with the plans,” County Cllr Edwards added.

He said that original one-way plans had been changed after County Hall received “loud and clear feedback that this was not going to be a feasible option for residents”.

The meeting also heard that in order to qualify for the government active travel cash that is funding the new cycle lane, the final design had to “substantially alter” the highway.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that that is one of the reasons for instating a combined two-way cycling facility, rather than a more traditional cycle lane on each side of the carriageway.

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