Transforming Cities Fund brings £40m transport boost for Preston area

Friday, March 13, 2020

A successful bid for £40m funding by Lancashire County Council will improve transport infrastructure in and around the Preston area.



The money from the Transforming Cities Fund, announced in this week's budget from the government, will support schemes across the city designed to improve connectivity by bus, rail and active travel. The government's announcement includes funding towards a new parkway rail station at Cottam.

Concept plans to upgrade rail, bus, cycling and walking opportunities across the city were submitted to the government for consideration in the form of a strategic outline business case.

The bid was supported by partner organisations from the public sector, including Preston City Council and South Ribble Borough Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), and local bus and rail providers.

As proposals are worked up, key local stakeholders, including the public, will be consulted about each aspect of the scheme.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "These are really exciting plans for the Preston area and I am delighted that the Department for Transport has looked on them favourably.

"We are pleased that this funding will allow us to accelerate some significant improvements to improve the attractiveness of the city's sustainable travel offer, and we'll continue to look for other funding sources to continue to develop the city and surrounding area for people who live and work here.

"The Preston area has been a real economic success story in recent years and this money will allow us to build on the good work of the City Deal."

Councillor Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, said: “We are pleased to hear that our shared bid to the Transforming Cities Fund has had some success – the Cottam Parkway is much needed infrastructure and we are thrilled to see it recognised as a priority.

"We believe our plans to improve the transport infrastructure of Preston with a focus on low carbon journeys and green travel are essential in helping our transport networks to meet the current and future needs of our communities, businesses and visitors. However they cannot be fully achieved without sufficient funding.

"The plans outline essential and transformational ways to relieve congestion and pressure on roads, as well as promote alternative means of travel. Together with our partners, we continue to explore every opportunity available to enhance and develop Preston, including transport and connections in and around the city."

Councillor Bill Evans, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for planning, regeneration and city deal, said: "We’re pleased that the bid for funding from the Transforming Cities fund has been successful and that the government has recognised this as a key region for investment.

"This funding could help to bring benefits to residents and to transport across the borough such as bus travel, rail travel, walking, and cycling.

"We’re now looking to understand the specific impact and benefit this funding can bring to the borough of South Ribble and will be working with our colleagues at Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council to discuss the way forward."

Michael Ahern, UCLan chief information and infrastructure officer, said: "This funding pledge is a major vote of confidence from the government that it is committed to delivering a major infrastructure upgrade for all modes of transport across Preston which complement the wider economic benefits of our £200million masterplan.

“Close partnership and collaborative working between government, city, county and the university will now take place to ensure the final plans reflect our shared vision with benefits for the whole community.”

Consultants were commissioned to draw up a 20-year vision for the Preston City area.

Members of the county council's cabinet agreed to use the report as evidence to inform current and ongoing transport-related planning and investment programming.

To find out more about the bid visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/transparency/funding-applications/transforming-cities

Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel


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