A public inquiry was held in November, following objections to the compulsory purchase order to acquire the land to build the new road. On the back of the inspector’s report, the secretary of state for transport has this week given approval to assemble the necessary land.
Lancashire County Council, the project developer, says that no houses are taken or will need to be demolished for the scheme, with three gardens affected and a single business which requires the agreed relocation of some buildings. The vast majority of the land affected is farm land or used for equestrian purposes, it says.
The Preston western distributor will link the A583/A584 on the west side of the city to a new junction on the M55 via a 4km dual carriageway. It also includes two new roads connecting to existing and developing housing areas in northwest Preston and Cottam.
Costain was appointed main contractor for the scheme way back in February 2016, on the back of its delivery of the M6–Heysham project for the county council. At that stage Costain was expecting to be on site in Preston in 2017 and be finished this year.
With all the delays, the county council now says that construction work will start later this year, with the new roads expected to open during 2023.