Transforming travel in Lancaster
We want to help Lancaster district to grow, help people to get around and promote sustainable travel options.
So we’re working with Lancaster City Council and other partners to deliver major transport improvements, especially in and around the city centre.
Known as the South Lancaster Growth Catalyst, this programme involves a significant investment in measures to encourage bus use, cycling and walking, to make these much more attractive travel options in future.
As well as helping Lancaster's economy to continue to grow, this is an opportunity to solve some of the existing problems at certain times with congestion and pollution in and around the city centre and in Galgate.
The South Lancaster to M6 Road Scheme will open up the development of new housing in Lancaster by creating access to the Bailrigg Garden Village/South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area. This will help to unlock development sites for new communities and homes, built to meet local housing needs and accessible by public transport and active travel.
These proposed travel improvements are:
- Link road with improvements to Hazelrigg Lane and a West Coast Mainline underpass giving access to the proposed Bailrigg Garden Village
- A new road providing access within the South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area, and a new canal bridge
- A new Park & Ride facility south of Lancaster
- Changes to Lancaster's one-way system to create bus priority routes and traffic-free areas
- Cycleway linking the city centre with the university, the Health Innovation Campus and the South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area.
- Safety improvements at the Pointer Roundabout
We're working on this project with partners including the Lancaster City Council, the Department for Transport, National Highways and Homes England.
Some of the funding for the South Lancaster Growth Catalyst has come from the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund. We received £140m following a successful bid to the fund.
Sign up to the electronic newsletter for the latest consultation information or for general enquiries about these schemes, contact the project team by email to TLT@lancashire.gov.uk
Get involved and latest updates
The consultation on the South Lancaster to M6 Road Scheme has now closed. Comments and responses that have been received will be considered and feedback will be provided in the form of a Consultation Report that will be made available with the submitted planning application in late summer.
Sign up to the electronic newsletter by emailing TLT@lancashire.gov.uk
South Lancaster to M6 Road Scheme
A proposed new road scheme on the south side of the university will:
- Support access to proposed housing sites
- Reduce traffic along the A6, especially through Galgate
- Support the removal of the Air Quality Management Area and ease existing congestion in the centre of Galgate
Several route options were initially assessed based on their impact on the environment, engineering feasibility and traffic performance.
The preferred route would provide a link road along the western side of the M6 between Ellel and Galgate, joining with Hazelrigg Lane near the university.
An updated route proposal was on the agenda for our Cabinet on 2 February 2023: Council - Agenda for Cabinet on Thursday, 2nd February, 2023, 2.00 pm (lancashire.gov.uk)
The proposed changes keep to that overall preferred route and deliver the same aims, but at the same time will safeguard an important natural habitat of local ancient woodland.
These new proposals, which vary from the previous plan seen by residents, reflect the findings of detailed surveys and investigations of the area. The removal of proposed north facing slip roads, also provide a cost saving for the overall scheme.
A planning application, supported by an Environmental Impact Assessment, is being prepared and is expected to be submitted for planning approval later this year, following on from the consultation. This will provide another opportunity for people to share their views on the proposals.
Background on the plans
Several road options set out in 2020 identified people's overall preference for the route. In February 2021, this preferred option was approved by our cabinet.
Our Cabinet also agreed in October 2021 to the proposed outline main street layout to serve South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area. Find out more in our news release from October 2021.
To access the South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area from the A6, the road would pass under the West Coast Mainline. In February 2021, this preferred option was approved by our cabinet.
A new Park & Ride
The Park and Ride will be designed for people travelling to Lancaster from Junction 33, as well other journeys from the south, reducing the number of private vehicles travelling between South Lancaster and the city centre.
The proposed Park & Ride is part of the South Lancaster to road scheme.
We're currently assessing how a new Park & Ride facility in south Lancaster would benefit travel in the area.
A travel survey between March and May 2022 was aimed at people who currently travel into Lancaster from the south. Information was given out to people in the city centre and at the Caton Road Park & Ride, and some properties were contacted by post.
This survey helped us to gather information about people's journeys and understand what improvements could be done.
Improving the city centre
Picture: Thurnham Street looking towards the town hall
We're working to reduce the amount of traffic in Lancaster city centre, improve air quality and bus reliability, and encourage active travel.
The Lancaster City Centre Movement and Public Realm Strategy was used to assess the current situation. After using this framework, eight options were considered for the city centre. A consultation then took place on these options.
The views and comments from the consultation showed a preference for three options:
Route 4 Sustainable Travel Corridor East
Split the one-way system, with two-way traffic for vehicles allowed on the western arm, with the eastern arm prioritised for sustainable travel.
Route 6a No through City Centre Traffic
Limiting through-traffic in the city centre. The eastern arm would be prioritised for sustainable travel with the western arm allowing two-way traffic for access. A section at China Street would be fully pedestrianised.
Route 8a City Centre
Clean Air Zone with a congestion charge for all vehicles travelling through the city centre, with exemptions. Use of the one-way system would be split between vehicles subject to the congestion charge and a sustainable travel corridor.
In February 2021, our Cabinet agreed to take forward these options for detailed analysis, including transport modelling and the impacts on the wider Lancaster highway network. It will also consider the air quality implications of these options.
There will be further consultation on the preferred option following this work.
South Lancaster cycleway
Plans are currently being developed for a new cycleway linking the city centre with key parts of south Lancaster. This includes the route it would take. As the plans develop, we'll be able to provide more details on this page.
Sites for new homes
The Lancaster Local Plan sets out the need for housing in South Lancaster. New homes could be built on land to the west of the A6/West Coast Mainline in the Bailrigg Garden Village.
The Local Plan provides for residential development between 2011 and 2031 with the delivery of at least 3,500 new houses in the South Lancaster Growth Area, including Bailrigg Garden Village. Not all of this capacity will be built within the Plan Period, with a number of sites continuing beyond this time.
The South Lancaster Growth Catalyst programme provides for development in this location, with wider benefits outside of this geographic area and beyond this plan period, so a greater number of new houses are identified as relying on its delivery.
Lancaster City Council is leading on the South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area Action Plan for the garden village and development approval. Homes are also planned off Bailrigg Lane between Scotforth and the university.
The scale of this development in South Lancaster will see a significant increase in the number of journeys, both local and longer distance.
Major improvements are necessary to the existing transport infrastructure that serves south Lancaster to encourage more journeys by bus, walking and cycling. A new road link is needed to unlock these future housing sites.
Our Cabinet agreed in October 2021 to the proposed outline main street layout to serve South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area. The route will now be the subject of further design considerations, environmental surveys and engineering assessments. Read the 2021 Cabinet report.
Documents from Cabinet Meeting 7 October 2021
- South Lancaster to M6 Road Scheme: M6 Junction 33 Reconfiguration with Link Road, Spine Road serving Bailrigg Garden Village, and Park and Ride Facility
Documents from Cabinet Meeting 4 February 2021
- Appendix A - Consultation Report M6 Junction 33 Reconfiguration with Link Road (December 2020) (PDF 3.4 MB)
- Appendix B - Preferred Route Option Report M6 Junction 33 Reconfiguration with Link Road (December 2020) (PDF 1.7 MB)
- Appendix C - Approved Plan (PDF 1.8 MB)
- Appendix D - Consultation Report Options for Lancaster City Centre Movement and Public Realm Strategy Route (December 2020) (PDF 962 KB)
M6 Junction 33 Link
Link road route options maps
- Western 1 (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Western 2 (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Central 1 (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Central 2 (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Eastern 1 (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Eastern 2 (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Appendix Air Quality Addendum (PDF 1.7 MB)
- Appendix AQ Impacts on Local Sites (PDF 9.2 MB)
- Traffic, Noise and Air Quality Report (PDF 10.8 MB)
- Engineering Options Report (PDF 2.4 MB)
- Environmental Options Report (PDF 12 MB)
Lancaster City Centre Movement and Public Realm Strategy
- Consultation boards (PDF 6.8 MB)
- Route Options Report (PDF 10 MB)
- Route Options Report: Executive Summary (PDF 3 MB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option One (PDF 154 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Two (PDF 154 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Three (PDF 155 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Four (PDF 156 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Five (PDF 156 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Six (PDF 133 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Seven (PDF 136 KB)
- Movement and Public Realm Strategy Option Eight (PDF 135 KB)