City link to Fylde village signed

April aerial VIEW'BAE Systems dominates the village of Warton. PIC BY ROB LOCK
April aerial VIEW'BAE Systems dominates the village of Warton. PIC BY ROB LOCK

A new link road to give the Fylde better access to the motorway – part of a £434m deal to boost development in Lancashire - has been welcomed by community leaders.

Officials at Number 11 Downing Street yesterday signed a £434m deal which could transform part of the Fylde.

The Preston and Lancashire City Deal sets out a detailed plan to support the creation of more than 20,000 new jobs – including 5,000 in the Lancashire Enterprise Zone, 17,420 new homes and nearly £1bn in economic growth over the next 10 years.

One key part of the plan, which was signed by Greg Clark, financial secretary to the Treasury, and council leaders, is the £109m Preston Western Distributor road, designed to give the Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Warton, better access to the motorway system.

It will also improve infrastructure links to the Springfields nuclear fuel plant and allow up to 4,000 new homes to be built west of Preston.

The road will link the A583 Blackpool Road near Clifton village to the M55 via a new motorway junction.

A spokesman for BAE Systems in Warton said: “The improvements to the county’s infrastructure will help maximise the potential offered by the enterprise zones located in our Samlesbury and Warton sites, helping bring high value advanced engineering and manufacturing jobs.”

County Hall leader, Coun Jennifer Mein, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that will Lancashire as a whole, to reach its full economic potential.”

While the new link road would help to ease congestion, one local councillor said it would need to be sympathetic to the remaining countryside.
That’s according to Coun Heather Speak, whose ward the road from the M55 to the A583 Blackpool Road near Clifton village will cut through.
She said: “It’s about getting that balance of protecting the countryside as much as possible, but we have to look at the future and we know new roads have to be built to ease congestion.
“This deal will bring further investment to the area.”