Preston Western Distributor

Preston Western Distributor: Helping people to get around

The Preston Western Distributor road scheme allows people to travel more easily around parts of the Preston and Fylde area.

This project has been built to help relieve congestion on the network, especially access to the motorway at junctions one and three of the M55, and on routes through Preston.

The roads opened to the public from 11am on Monday 3 July 2023.

Preston Western Distributor scheme official opening - 3rd July 2023

About the road scheme

The road scheme consists of three individual roads:

Edith Rigby Way

Edith Rigby Way (shown in dark green on the map) is the largest of the three roads. A new junction on the M55 (Junction 2) has been constructed and provides a 2.5-mile-long dual carriageway to the A583/A5085 Blackpool Road/Riversway at Lea.

William Young Way

William Young Way (shown in orange on the map) connects North Preston with a two-mile-long single carriageway, linking the new Edith Rigby Way to Tom Benson Way/Lightfoot Lane.

Avice Pimblett Way

Avice Pimblett Way (shown in dark blue on the map) is a 0.4-mile-long single carriageway road linking Edith Rigby Way and Cottam Way. It will provide access to the proposed Cottam Parkway railway station.

Almost four miles of shared-use cycle and footway run alongside the roads.

A map showing the route of the new roads, to the west of Lea and Cottam, and the new M55 motorway junction.

Why the roads have been built

Building new road capacity will:

  • Provide direct access to new housing developments
  • Reduce congestion on the road network by providing new routes
  • Improve access to the motorway
  • Improve our existing roads and local centres
  • Promote walking and cycling
  • Support delivery of a proposed railway station at Cottam

Environmental works

The environment was a key consideration in the construction of the road schemes. Work included:

  • More than 2,000 trees and 122,000 shrubs
  • Wildlife fencing to reduce risk of low flying birds hitting vehicles
  • More than twice the length of hedge removed replaced with newly planted
  • Dedicated bat barn
  • 50 bat boxes and new hedgerow on Bartle Lane Bridge to guide the animals across the new road
  • 50 bird roost boxes
  • Four new breeding ponds supporting toads and great crested newts
  • Open viaducts to maintain otter habitats
  • New nesting habitats for hares and hedgehogs
  • Dedicated underpasses to maintain pathways for animals
  • Protection of Bartle Wetland to ensure no loss of fen and swamp habitat

Working in partnership

This £207 million City Deal road scheme is the single largest investment in Lancashire’s infrastructure in more than 20 years. Funding came from the Department for Transport, Highways England, the county council, the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and the Lancashire Growth Deal. Preston Western Distributor scheme was constructed by Costain, on behalf of Lancashire County Council, as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

City Deal is an agreement between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, central Government and Homes England.

City Deal is helping to deliver accelerated infrastructure, homes and jobs across Preston and South Ribble, with wider benefits to Lancashire. It is supporting the creation of more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for a growing population and workforce.

Edith Rigby Way drive-through

Edith Rigby Way drone footage