The traffic-calming features will line Lightfoot Lane in Fulwood between its junction with the A6 Garstang Road and the B6241 Eastway – with the aim of encouraging motorists to stick to the latter route for through journeys.
Eight pairs of ‘speed cushions’ will be put in place along Lightfoot Lane, while a raised ‘table junction’ will be introduced where it meets Hazelmere Road.
Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has given the green light to the £68,000 scheme, which will be funded by contributions from developers who have built homes in the North West Preston area.
It follows calls from residents to improve road safety along the 20 mile-per-hour route, which is home to Our Lady and St. Edwards’s Catholic Primary School and Fulwood Free Methodist Church.
However, a consultation into the plans prompted more objections than support, with 16 respondents in favour and 21 opposed.
Several locals warned that the measures would simply shift traffic onto other – even less suitable – roads nearby. However, County Hall highways officials concluded that the alternative routes would require detours that would increase journey lengths by 40 percent along difficult-to-navigate roads – and so were unlikely to be an option taken up by most motorists.
They also rejected claims that the speed cushions would increase noise and air pollution by causing vehicles to speed up and slow down – stating that the spacing of the bumps would keep vehicles at a consistent speed.
In a statement after the meeting, County Cllr Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways, said that the traffic-calming features would make Lightfoot Lane “less attractive as a through route, in-keeping with this being a residential street where people should feel safe to walk and cycle”.
He added: “We’ve already made a number of changes to roads in North West Preston as the area has developed in recent years to ensure that through-traffic is encouraged to use the appropriate main routes and protect existing residential roads.”
Initial plans to relocate a bus stop to accommodate one of the speed cushion pairs were amended after feedback from a resident. Savings from another scheme were used to fund the table junction, which will negate the need to change the bus stop’s position.
Preston city councillor Phoenix Adair says he has been campaigning for traffic-calming measures on Lightfoot Lane for three years, after residents told him that road safety on the route was one of their biggest concerns in the area.
“During this time, we got the [yellow] lines outside Our Lady and St Edward’s Primary repainted and we also [helped] to organise speed checks, digital speed check signs [and get] ‘resident speed concern area’ signs installed,” said Cllr Adair, who represents Greyfriars ward.
Liberal Democrat community campaigner Fiona Duke added: “Whilst we did ask for chicanes to be installed as the preferred traffic calming measure, we understand that the overriding concern was speed and these bus cushions should reduce speeding and therefore protect the children at the school, too.”
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