Lancaster district highways and transport masterplan

The Lancaster District Highways and Transport Masterplan outlines ambitious new plans to see the city centre and towns Morecambe, Carnforth, Heysham, transformed over coming decades.

The masterplan outlines a range of improvements to be developed by 2031, including a vision for a city centre less dominated by traffic, with more people using sustainable transport such as buses and cycling.

The masterplan was approved by Cabinet on Thursday 6 October 2016 and will see multi-million pound investment in the transport infrastructure in the Lancaster district.

Transport goes hand in hand with economic development and as our towns and cities expand with new housing and businesses, it's vital that we plan ahead so that people and goods can travel easily and efficiently.

The masterplan aims to tackle problems with congestion and air pollution and create an environment which will make the district a particularly attractive place to live, work and visit.

The plans

The completion of the Bay Gateway will fundamentally change traffic patterns in the district and present major opportunities to transform travel that are captured in the masterplan.

The plan contains a range of eye-catching improvements. Central to the vision of how Lancaster could look by 2031 are proposals to:

  • Position Caton Road as the main gateway into the city from the M6, from both north and south. This will allow us to manage the city centre network more closely once the Bay Gateway opens, with a focus on improving the environment by identifying options to support public transport, cycling and walking and limit unnecessary HGV movements.
  • Reconfigure M6 Junction 33 to support the development of South Lancaster around Lancaster University. In a change to the draft masterplan, it is now proposed to relocate part of the junction further to the north so that people travelling from south Lancaster can access the motorway without having to travel through the city centre or Galgate. The south-facing slip roads would remain where they are so that traffic accessing the M6 south would not need to pass through Galgate.
  • Develop the 'Lancaster Reach' bus rapid transit network, incorporating the Park and Ride service from M6 Junction 34 to Lancaster city centre to create a 'Y'-shaped network of two routes, one linking Heysham and Morecambe to South Lancaster via the city centre, the other linking M6 Junction 34 to Lancaster University. This is linked into a wider route management plan for the A6 corridor between the A6 and South Lancaster, to create a sustainable transport corridor, supporting alternatives to the car for local journeys to reduce congestion and support development in the area.
  • Work with Lancaster City Council to put in place the transport elements needed to make the Morecambe Area Action Plan a reality. A range of measures would aim to improve gateways into the town centre and fully integrate the seafront with the town to make it more attractive to spend time in a Morecambe less dominated by cars.
  • Carry out a Morecambe Bay Connectivity Study to explore the business case for better connections around the whole bay area for all modes of transport. This will also take into account journeys to Cumbria, particularly from Carnforth, to benefit from economic growth potential at the Sellafield and GlaxoSmithKline sites.
  • Improve how Carnforth town centre works, making it a more attractive place for visitors to spend time, and more user-friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Look at long-term sustainable alternatives to conventional public transport for rural areas, and whether solutions from elsewhere in the UK could be applied to Lancaster.
  • A comprehensive plan to develop an integrated multi-use/cycling network for the district, which will support the wider Cycling and Walking Strategy for Lancashire.
  • Make Lancaster central to a countywide programme of support for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles.