Work on a new Moss Road linking Lytham and St Annes to the M55 will be started in the next 18 months, the Government has confirmed.
Trade leaders have welcomed the news after the Government announced a £230m Growth Deal package for projects across the Fylde coast which will see Fylde get two new links to the M55.
After the funding was announced this week, Fylde MP Mark Menzies pushed the Government on when the Moss Road scheme will be built.
He asked in Parliament: “This afternoon, I was with the Secretary of State for Transport in Fylde, where we announced the Lytham St Annes to M55 link road.
“Will the Minister assure the people of Fylde, who are very excited about this announcement, that this shovel-ready project will indeed get under way in 2015/16, as planned?
Greg Clark Minister of State for the Cabinet Office confirmed to him: “It will, indeed.”
As well as the St Annes link road, the funding will be used to create an already-announced road linking the motorway to the Warton Enterprise Zone via a new junction between Broughton and Kirkham, expected to be built in 2016/17.
Trade bosses have said the plans are welcome – and well overdue.
John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “It is excellent news, long overdue for the Moss Road.
“As it is the road is sinking into the Moss and it ties in nicely with the Heyhouses Development.
“It is good new for business and tourism all round.”
Andy Fallow, chairman of the Lytham Business Partnership, said: “The easier it is to visit here, the better, especially when we look at events like the Proms and the Open Golf Championships.
“It is a long time overdue though.
“So it is very welcome for getting visitors in and to businesses.
“With the Moss road as it is now, all you need is a couple of incidents and it’s gridlock for the entire area. These roads will help people get to our businesses and that is what’s important.”
Mr Menzies said: “The new M55 link road has been one of the biggest issues for people in Fylde for many years and something I have been pushing for since coming to Parliament.
“But since the current moss road was closed for safety reasons last year it has really brought it home how essential it is to get a new road in place as quickly as possible.
“As well as creating employment opportunities at Whitehills Business Park and into Blackpool it will provide a huge boost to the tourism industry in Fylde, as well as improving our ability to host another Golf Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
“That is why I am delighted with today’s announcement that the project will finally go ahead and Fylde residents will have the road they deserve, which will help open up the Fylde coast and the rest of the country beyond.”
The project, which will cost around £15m in total, was set out as part of a raft of new schemes to be carried out by the Government, working alongside Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
Transport Secretary, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, visited the site of the current moss road to meet Mr Menzies and Fylde Borough Council leader Cllr David Eaves to see for himself how much a new highway will mean for the prosperity of the area.
He said: “I know Mark has worked extremely hard with the local council to bring about a positive outcome in getting a new M55 to St Annes link road agreed and I am pleased to be able to visit Fylde to make today’s announcement.”
Coun Eaves added: “This road will provide a vital artery between Lytham, Ansdell and St Annes and the M55 and has been a major issue in the area for more than 20 years.
“This announcement can only help promote local businesses, enterprise and tourism opportunities as well as improving access for all members of the public for Fylde.
“I am delighted the Secretary of State was able to pay us a visit to see for himself the positive impact the new road will have for so many people in Fylde.
“Myself and Mark have been working extremely hard on this for some time now and it is exciting to be able to announce such positive news today.”