Transforming Friargate and Ringway

Transforming Friargate North and Ringway

Transforming Friargate North and Ringway is one of the first Preston Transforming Cities Fund schemes, aimed at boosting connectivity by bus, rail and active travel such as cycling and walking. The funding will be used towards a range of improvements in and around the city to promote public transport and active travel, encouraging more people to leave the car at home.

It will also be designed to encourage people moving between the university and the Harris Quarter by regenerating the area and joining up both sides of the city. By bringing it up to date with other modern cities, we aim to make this area an attractive destination for residents and visitors to enjoy, generating more potential customers for businesses particularly along the northern end of Friargate.

Following consultations as part of our city Masterplan development, we've been working with a range of people who have helped us to fine tune our plans to make sure they work for Preston. We are still developing some of the details before we can present the final plans later this year.
The measures being considered for the area include:

  • A new signal controlled crossing point, public realm improvements and bus interchange stops at the Friargate/Ringway junction. Vehicle access at the Ringway-Friargate junction will be removed to enable this
  • Pedestrianisation of Friargate between Ringway and Marsh Lane with access for service and delivery vehicles at restricted times of the day
  • Creating a pedestrian and cycle friendly space with high quality paving, trees, and other features such as public seating, space for outdoor markets and alfresco dining opportunities
  • Closing part of Corporation Street to general traffic and creating a bus gate to give priority to buses at the junction. This will allow buses, Hackney carriages and authorised vehicles through freely whilst discouraging other vehicles, similar to arrangements on Fishergate currently
  • New cycle paths along Ringway to help cyclists connect between the University, the railway station, the bus station and beyond as safely as possible

Benefits of the proposed measures

Transforming Friargate North and Ringway will have wide ranging benefits for Preston by increasing sustainable travel options and regenerating the public space for all to enjoy. Other cities which have introduced similar cycle and pedestrian friendly measures are already enjoying benefits such as a healthier communities, reduced local air pollution, lower road traffic accident levels and a boost to their economy by increased visitor spending. We hope to make Preston a healthier, safer and greener place for people to live, work and visit.

There are three main parts to the scheme and below are some of the benefits for each.

Regeneration of Friargate North

  • Like the southern end of Friargate, removing traffic all day except for a short window for deliveries will create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Improved street scene with high quality paving, seating and tree planting will create a pleasant environment for people to sit, relax, shop and enjoy.
  • Regeneration of the street will encourage more people to use it, and help to generate more potential customers for businesses in the area
  • Opportunities for businesses to provide outdoor seating for eating and drinking
  • New spaces for outdoor markets and live events
 

Transforming Ringway Junction

  • Reconnecting the city either side of Ringway by upgrading the crossing facilities for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Opening up and improving the look and feel of this area will make it an attractive place to visit for leisure and shopping
  • New secure cycle parking and facilities to encourage more people to come into town on their bikes
  • New bus stops at the junction to service this area and make it easier for people to get here by bus
  • Encouraging people who are just passing through to choose more suitable routes other than directly through the city centre will enhance the experience for local residents and shoppers
 

Changes to Corporation Street and local traffic routes

  • New segregated cycle lanes along Ringway and Friargate, connecting to the wider network, will help more people travel safely by bike
  • These will be supported by a smart signal technology package to optimise traffic flow
  • New bus stops for buses diverted from Friargate will maintain bus accessibility in the area
  • Discouraging traffic from using the university campus as a through route will make a more pleasant environment for students and local residents
 

Why we are doing this

As part of our ambitions for Lancashire's future prosperity, we are looking carefully how we can plan our local infrastructure to serve the changing needs of our residents and businesses.  This means ensuring that we integrate new technologies and support sustainability and active travel options when designing our roads and urban areas. There will be more emphasis applied to the needs of all road users where previously private vehicles were given more prominence.

What next?

Design of these works will take place over the next 12 months, with the construction of the works planned to be complete by spring 2023.

We will be talking to local businesses, and a range of community groups so that we consider the needs of all users through the detailed design and engagement process.

When our plans are ready, we will share them and provide an update on the next steps of this programme.

If you have any specific queries, please email us at: TransformingFNR@lancashire.gov.uk

Public engagement March 2021

Thank you to everyone who commented or asked a question about the scheme in our recent public engagement. Here are some of the main themes and our response.

Will the cycle lanes be separated from vehicles and pedestrians?

Yes, for the majority of the proposals the cycle lanes will be separated from vehicles and pedestrians. There are some areas that we'll develop further in the detailed design to reduce any conflict points:

  • Corporation St – we will be installing painted cycle lanes from Ringway to Heatley St. From Heatley St to Marsh Lane cyclists will be on the carriageway, but this is where the traffic is restricted to buses and authorised vehicles only.
  • Ring Way - From Corporation St to North Rd Junction a two-way segregated cycle lane will be constructed on the Northern side.
  • Friargate – from Ring Way north to Marsh Lane cyclists will be encouraged to cycle along the centre of the pedestrianised area which will also be where deliveries and service vehicles will be allowed to drive at specific limited times.

Where Friargate meets Ring Way we will also separate pedestrians from cyclists, with each having their own route over the traffic signal-controlled crossing.

The proposals should connect to existing cycle routes further out from the Centre of Preston

These proposals connect to National Cycle Routes NCR6, NCR62 and to the train and bus stations whilst re-connecting the Adelphi Quarter to the city centre. The proposals also form part of a much wider strategic masterplan to improve cycle links throughout the county.

The cycle storage facility should be safe and secure

We're currently reviewing options for cycle storage. This will likely include cycle hoops along Friargate and we're also planning to install an open, highly visible, but covered cycle shelter near to the Peace Garden.

Local motorists are being disadvantaged by the proposals as there's a lack of alternative routes across Preston

The project aims to increase the sustainable travel options which will hopefully encourage local motorists to consider another form of travel into and out of the city centre. For those travelling through Preston, using the strategic routes such as Ring Way, North Road and Strand Road will be the best routes to use as, in addition to these works, there will be a smart signal technology package to optimise traffic flow.

The proposals will discourage visitors to Preston due to access via car being worsened.

We hope to create a more inviting city for people to visit, which has been successful in encouraging visitors in other cities which have done similar schemes. Locally, when traffic was discouraged from using Fishergate, and the street scene was changed to be more pedestrian friendly, visitor numbers (which had previously been dropping) actually increased and continued to do so until COVID-19 restrictions had an effect.

Parking facilities are far from the shops which is difficult for users with limited mobility

As part of this project you will still be able to access all current car parking facilities, which are adjacent to Friargate on Marsh Lane, Market St West, Heatley St and Hill St. We are maintaining and improving access to the Mobility Centre from Lune St, and providing a new level pedestrianised area along Friargate with public seating and clutter free footways next to the shops, as well as a traffic signal crossing to help cross Ring Way and access the area. This should improve facilities for all, including those with mobility issues.

Provide free car parking nearby for cars that is safe and secure

This is not within the county council's control, and is outside the scope of this scheme.

Parking restrictions must be enforced as the new paving will be damaged with parked vehicles

The Bus Gate on Corporation St will be enforced by camera, similar to the Fishergate Bus Gate. Along Friargate we will have loading bays which will be used during servicing hours in the morning and for the remainder of the day the paved areas of Friargate will be closed to vehicles. The Parking Enforcement Team will also be monitoring the area.

Old Tram Road Bridge needs to be repaired, without this, potential cyclists will use cars.

This is unfortunately outside the scope of this scheme.

Buses on Corporation St need adequate bus stops, the temporary ones, whilst the UCLan works were ongoing, were poor.

We have been speaking to the bus operators and will be providing new high quality bus shelters on Corporation St for the northbound routes. The facilities will be made more accessible with the kerbing upgraded

Public Transport methods are too expensive and unreliable

Bus ticket pricing is not within our control, but we are introducing measures similar to Fishergate on Corporation St, making this a through route for buses and authorised vehicles only. This will remove traffic queuing and improve journey times into and out of the city as a result, improving the reliability of the bus services.

Bus stops are far from the shops which is difficult for users with limited mobility

In addition to the new bus stops on Corporation St replacing those being lost due to the pedestrianisation of Friargate, we are also adding another bus stop on the corner of Ring Way and Friargate next to the new crossing point, which will greatly improve access to and from the whole of Friargate and the rest of the city centre.

Will there be standard signal-controlled crossings?

Yes. Where Friargate meets Ring Way there will be a new segregated traffic signal-controlled crossing. This means pedestrians and cyclists will be separate when crossing over Ring Way. In addition, you will be able to cross over in one movement unlike the current arrangement which is done in two phases.

Along Friargate there will be uncontrolled crossing points for use during the servicing hours, and for the rest of the time, there will be no motor vehicle traffic on Friargate.

Will there be plenty of benches, planting etc to create a nice street scene?

Yes, Friargate North and the Peace Garden area will have new public seating and new trees to make it a more inviting and pleasant place to be. This, and the pedestrianisation will have the added benefit of helping to improve air quality in the city centre.

The scheme focuses too heavily on UCLan Students.

Whilst the scheme naturally improves the links from the city centre to UCLan, the proposals have been designed to have benefits for all users, including students, to enjoy.

Keeping you updated

More information will be updated within these web pages as plans develop.

You can also sign up to receive the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway newsletter updates which we plan to send out on a quarterly basis.

For more information about all the projects as part of the Transforming Cities Fund

Plans and concept designs