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West Lancashire highways and transport masterplan

The West Lancashire highways and transport masterplan outlines our ambitious and wide-ranging vision to transform the transport network in West Lancashire over the coming decades.

The plan for West Lancashire sets out options for major improvements to railways, highways, public transport, and walking and cycling facilities, to ensure the district can realise its potential for economic growth and avoid its distinctive rural character being spoiled by congestion.

We've listened to your views

A ten-week consultation gave members of the public and local organisations such as parish councils an opportunity to contribute.  Following consultation, a number of changes were made to our initial proposals.

Many responses to the consultation endorsed the county council's preferred options, including proposals to link Skelmersdale to the rail network, and measures to encourage walking and cycling. However the final version published today also features a number of changes as a result of comments and suggestions. They include:

  • A 'movement strategy' for Ormskirk will focus on measures to reduce traffic, especially in the town centre, and to improve how the remaining traffic is managed. It will provide the opportunity to fundamentally review how traffic is managed.
  • Linking Skelmersdale to the rail network with a new railway station, linking it to Manchester and Liverpool and develop a bus interchange in the town centre linked to it.
  • Transform the way people in Skelmersdale travel by redesigning roads, removing underpasses and making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport within the town and to access wider job opportunities.
  • A multi-user path between Burscough and Ormskirk to provide a direct off-road route via a new linear park.
  • Investigate options and prepare a business case for electrification of the Liverpool, Ormskirk to Preston railway line to fulfil its potential as a commuter route. Which would include the reinstatement of the Burscough Curves railway line
  • Strong support for cycling during the consultation has led to the development of more ambitious plans, including a proposal for strategic cycle routes linking the main towns within West Lancashire.

Further work will now take place to make the business case for improvements, ensuring the county council is ready to capitalise on future opportunities to secure funding.

Ormskirk Bypass

Plans to build a bypass of Ormskirk will no longer be pursued as an option for West Lancashire. A recent study has shown current congestion is largely caused by local traffic, limiting the benefit of a bypass and meaning that a combination of other proposals as outlined in the masterplan will be more effective  and funded more quickly.  The prospect of the Thornton Link providing additional relief also has the potential to give a similar result to the bypass. 

Other key proposals in the masterplan

  • Linking Skelmersdale to the rail network with a new rail station and bus interchange in the town centre.
  • Transform the way people in Skelmersdale travel by redesigning roads, removing underpasses and making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport within the town and to access wider job opportunities.
  • A multi-user path between Burscough and Ormskirk to provide a direct off-road route via a new linear park.
  • Investigate options and prepare a business case for electrification of the Ormskirk to Preston railway line to fulfil its potential as a commuter route.
  • Complete the proposed Tarleton Green Lane Link road to reduce HGV traffic through the village.
  • A route management plan for West Lancashire that maximises the benefits of all new road construction and highways and transport improvements in the area.

Documents