Fylde Coast highways and transport masterplan
Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council have unveiled a masterplan which outlines plans to transform the road, rail, tram and cycle networks on the Fylde Coast. The proposals aim to boost the economy, reduce gridlock on the roads and support healthy lifestyles over the coming decades in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.
The Fylde Coast is a very diverse area and the transport network needs to support a vibrant tourism industry as well as the UK's most significant centre for aerospace manufacturing and large firms specialising in energy and environmental technology, chemicals and polymers.
As well as making sure the visitor economy and industries can continue to grow we must ensure that everyone who lives on the Fylde Coast can reach the opportunities they need to thrive. We must also take account of future residents and ensure that new housing can be accommodated without overwhelming existing communities.
The proposals for the near future include:
- The extension of the Blackpool Tramway from the promenade at North Pier to Blackpool North railway station which will improve access to the UK national rail network from Blackpool, Fleetwood and Cleveleys.
- A new junction 2 on the M55 near Preston and Preston Western Distributor road which will improve links to the Fylde via a direct dual carriageway connection from the motorway to the A583/A584 – this is being funded through the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and the Highways Agency.
- The commitment recently announced by central government to A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool improvements. This Highways Agency scheme proposes a new bypass of the village of Little Singleton. This scheme would remove the current bottleneck at Five Lane Ends and give the opportunity to improve the A585 Mains Lane/A588 Shard Road junction. It could also remove rat-running traffic from Singleton.
The masterplan also puts forward proposals for the future to:
- Consult on proposals for a Blackpool North (Talbot Gateway) Interchange to improve links between rail and tram services and provide a terminus to the tramway extension. A bid could be made for Local Growth Funding through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
- Carry out a study of the South Fylde railway line to explore its potential for investment. Improved rolling stock and more frequent and reliable services could make it a much better option for commuters, and there may be further benefits to linking the line to the Blackpool Tramway.
- Carry out a study into the potential for improving facilities at stations on the North Fylde railway line. Electrification of the Blackpool North line will see changes to a number of stations to accommodate Pendolino trains, and the study will look into the potential to improve features such as accessibility and parking.
- Establish design and location options for coach facilities in Blackpool.
- Develop a Fylde Coast long term public transport strategy to find the most cost effective ways to provide access to services in rural and remote areas, and market improved facilities to encourage visitors to consider alternatives to the car.
- Take opportunities to make cycling a better option for shorter journeys, and develop a Fylde Coast cycle network which builds on existing routes and initiatives already underway to create better routes for commuters and family-friendly routes for tourists.
A six-week consultation took place from Monday 12 January to Friday 20 February 2015. A number of events across the county were held to allow members of the public to have their say on the plans.