Thursday, October 05, 2017
New road officially opens in Broughton
James Towers Way, the name given to the Broughton Bypass, officially opened to vehicles earlier today (Thursday 5 October 2017).
The road has been named in honour of a local hero of World War One and recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC).
The new road was officially opened by Jake Berry MP, Minister for The Northern Powerhouse & Local Growth. The road is supported by the Northern Powerhouse.
He was joined for the opening by Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Council; Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council; and Jim Carter, chair of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; along with representatives of the local community and family members of James Towers VC.
The first section closest to the M55 opened to the public at around 11:30am, with remaining sections opening as planned in stages.
The road is now fully open for public use, although some work will still be needed following the official opening, including landscaping.
Construction of the long-awaited road, which is just under 1.25 miles long, began in January 2016. The construction work was carried out by Hochtief UK, on behalf of the county council.
Jake Berry MP said: “The Northern Powerhouse is about creating jobs and economic growth so I am delighted to be here today to open the James Tower Way which, with £15.5m of government funding, will not only make a transformative difference to those who live in Broughton village but will also act as a gateway for greater local growth opportunities and prosperity in the surrounding areas.
"The Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal is a great example of local partners, including government, collaborating together to make long awaited schemes like this a reality.”
Construction of the £32m bypass is predicted to reduce the number of vehicles travelling through the centre of Broughton village by up to 90% and improve journey times in and out of Preston.
It will also create better connectivity to the wider road network, with benefits to the development and economic growth of the local area.
This is the first major new road project to be completed as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
The City Deal is an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
County Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, leader of the county council, said: "This is a big day in the history of the village of Broughton, as well as for the city of Preston. We're well aware of the delays that people have experienced over the years and the vital need for this new road.
"The bypass will bring much-needed congestion relief to the village itself and the wider area. Broughton crossroads have been a longstanding congestion hotspot for commuters and local users, adding to journey times and air quality problems due to standing traffic.
"It's been a long time since a bypass was first talked about, and we're pleased that we've finally been able to make it happen. The opening of this road will benefit the village but will also be a boost to the economy of the sub-region."
The road had been due to open early next year, with additional time programmed in the construction schedule in case of unforeseen circumstances. Good progress has been made thanks to the number of construction staff on site and good weather.
Once the road has opened, work can begin on almost £2million of improvements along the A6 through Broughton village, including immediate work to tackle flooding issues in the village.
The A6 Garstang Road will be closed just south of Broughton village from Monday 9 October to Friday 10 November for long-awaited repairs to a culvert beneath the road - the new bypass will make this flood prevention work possible without causing major disruption.
The wider improvements to the village will see changes to the carriageway, footways and Guild Wheel to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and encourage vehicles to use the new road. A 20mph speed limit is planned through Broughton village itself.
Construction of the road is a key part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, and the Lancashire Growth Deal.
Jim Carter, chair of City Deal, said: "This is the first major new road scheme delivered by our City Deal, which aims to transform the area by reducing congestion, helping people to get around and opening up new commercial opportunities.
"We have already achieved a great deal, and this bypass is the latest in a long list of our successes to date.
"Good connectivity is vital for businesses to grow and prosper. We’re working hard to unlock the potential of this area, helping people to get around, creating new jobs and bringing economic growth."
This new road supports new housing sites around Barton and Whittingham.
Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Preston. This road has been a long time coming, and I believe it will have been worth the wait. This is just one of the significant improvements City Deal is able to bring to the city and I am very pleased to be a part of the process.”
The opening of the bypass will also see the immediate closure of D'Urton Lane at its eastern end to remove any rat running and improve conditions for Guild Wheel users. Access to the Guild Wheel along D'Urton Lane will be maintained following these changes.
The subway under the west side of the M55 roundabout which closed during the construction will be back in use following the official opening of the new road.
The City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.