'˜Key step forward' for M55 link road
The long-awaited M55 link road looks set to take a key step forward in the next few weeks.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies has expressed his delight at approval for utility works diversions which will he hopes will finally open the way to copnstruiction work starting on the much-needed road.
The works relate to the re-siting of cabling used by the National Air Traffic System at Blackpool Airport, which are still part of a national air traffic control system.
Mr Menzies reported to the latest meeting of the link road working group - involving Lancashire County and Fylde Councils, the Lancashire Economic Partnership and developers Kensington, who are building 1,150 homes at Queensway – that BT Openreach, who handle the cabling work, had agreed to his request for the scheme to be fast-tracked.
He said: “Openreach initially said it would need up to 18 months on site before any works started on the road.
“They agreed to make several concessions to bring the project forward so that it can be completed in shorter time, and simultaneously alongside construction of the road.”
The meeting was also told the supplier’s questionnaire has also been issued for the tender process, with construction works to start on site within months.
Mr Menzies added: “We have encountered many difficulties along the way which residents will not be aware of as they see no physical works taking place.
“But I have never let up any pressure and we are now about to see pre-works begin on the site.
“To avoid any further delays, officers prepared two different schemes to ensure the authorities are not held to ransom, and so works can begin at the earliest opportunity.
“For us to be asking Openreach to get on with their works – totalling more than £800,000 – shows we are finally up and running with the road, and I look forward to seeing workers on site.”
The road, projected to cost £24m, will link Cypress Point, Ansdell to the Whitehills business area at Peel.
Fylde Council leader Coun Sue Fazackerley said: “Any indication of progress will be more than welcome to Fylde residents, who have been awaiting some encouraging news for quite a while.”