All you need to know about the new road linking the M55 and Preston

Work is set to begin later this year on a new road linking the M55 motorway with the north of Preston.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 12:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 5:54 pm
Map showing the new Preston Western Distributor road and adjoining east-west links

The government has today given the go-ahead to the so-called Preston Western Distributor Road, following a public inquiry last November.

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New link road gets the green light

The route has been designed to help accommodate more than 5,000 new homes being built as part of the North West Preston Masterplan. The scheme also includes two adjoining link roads.


Preston Western Distributor Road – a 70 mph, 2.5 mile stretch of dual carriageway linking the A583 Blackpool Road and A5085 Riversway with a new junction 2 of the M55 motorway. Includes a shared cycleway and footway.

East-West link road – a 2-mile single carriageway, with speeds ranging from 20-40mph, linking Lightfoot Lane with the new Preston Western Distributor.

Cottam link road – a short 0.4-mile route, connecting Cottam Way with the Preston Western Distributor.

The routes are expected to be competed by 2023.


The masterplan area – to the north west of Cottam – will be developed in phases.

5,300 – total number of new homes planned

2,849 – dwellings so far granted planning permission

15 – total number of sites where permission has been granted

807 – dwellings which have so far been built

30 – number of dwellings per hectare

Figures as of September 2018


The area covered by the North West Preston Masterplan is bound by Eastway, Lightfoot Lane, Hoyles Lane, Bartle Lane and the M55 motorway.

When it was finalised in 2017, it was described as “ a unique opportunity to deliver a substantial number of new homes in a highly attractive environment”.

The design promised generous areas of green space and a series of connected and accessible neighbourhoods, with each providing a range of local services.

Two primary schools and a secondary school are also planned, to cope with the expected influx of new families. The majority of the 5,300 homes proposed for the site are to be 3 or 4-bedroomed properties.

But in spite of a pledge to offer a “real choice” about modes of transport for residents, it was recognised that major new road infrastructure would be required.