Work begins on £207m Preston link road

Delivery of the Preston Western Distributor, linking the west side of the city to the M55, is now under way with contractor Costain on course to complete the scheme in 2023.

The project, the largest roads programme within the Preston, South Ribble, and Lancashire City Deal, will connect the A583 with a new Junction 2 on the motorway near Bartle. Construction of this road will improve transport connectivity as well as unlocking a number of housing and employment sites.

There will also be a two-mile east-west link road connecting to Lightfoot Lane, and a link road at Cottam.

The estimated £207m cost of the project is be met from a combination of public and private sector funds. This would include £58m of Lancashire’s Local Growth Fund, specifically supporting the dual carriageway.

Highways England will provide £25m towards the cost of the motorway junction, while further contributions would be secured from housing developers.

Costain has been attached to the project as contractor for some time under an Early Contractor Involvement agreement. The company has worked with the local councils before, having delivered the Bay Gateway, linking Lancaster, Morecambe, and Heysham with Junction 34 of the M6.

Compulsory purchase and land assembly powers were agreed last year; a business case was also agreed in 2018 despite costs rising by an estimated £60m.