How would you reconnect the two halves of Preston city centre?

The public are being urged to have their say on how County Hall spends £14.7m on reconnecting Preston's fractured city centre.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 3:45 pm
How Friargate could look - but it's up to you.

A consultation has begun on designs produced for Friargate North and Ringway, with people invited to comment on the scheme to bring the two halves of the city together to create a better leisure and shopping experience by spring 2023.

The public will have until April 26 and council bosses say their views will be taken into account before the final blueprint is agreed.

Lancashire County Council has been given the cash from the Transforming Cities Fund.

Plans for the junction if Friargate with Ringway.

The money will also go towards encouraging sustainable travel with a range of improvements in and around the city to promote public transport, walking and cycling and enabling more people to leave the car at home.

LCC says the measures being considered for the area include:

• A new signal-controlled crossing point, public realm improvements and bus interchange stops at the Friargate/Ringway junction. Vehicle access at the Ringway-Friargate junction will be removed to enable this.

• Pedestrianisation of Friargate between Ringway and Marsh Lane with access for service and delivery vehicles at restricted times of the day.

Looking across Ringway towards Friargate North.

• Creating a pedestrian and cycle friendly space with high quality paving, trees, and other features such as public seating, space for outdoor events and al fresco dining opportunities.

• Closing part of Corporation Street to general traffic and creating a bus lane to give priority to buses at the junction. This will allow buses, hackney carriages and authorised vehicles through, whilst discouraging other vehicles, similar to arrangements on Fishergate.

• New cycle paths along Ringway to help cyclists connect between the university, the railway station, the bus station and beyond as safely as possible.

Coun Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport said: "This is a revolutionary scheme for Preston which is designed to encourage footfall between the university and the Harris Quarter by regenerating the area and joining up both sides of the city.

"By bringing it up to date with other modern cities, we aim to put this area on the map as an attractive destination for residents and visitors to enjoy, generating more potential customers for businesses particularly along the northern end of Friargate.

"Like the southern end of Friargate, removing traffic all day except for a short window for deliveries will create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. By encouraging traffic to choose more suitable routes we will enhance the experience for local residents and shoppers.

"We are providing new cycle facilities and segregated lanes connecting to the wider cycle network to help more people to come into town on their bikes. New bus stops for buses diverted from Friargate will maintain bus accessibility in the area.

"Transforming Friargate North and Ringway will have wide-ranging benefits for Preston by increasing sustainable travel options and regenerating the public space for all to enjoy.

"Other cities which have introduced similar cycle and pedestrian-friendly measures are already enjoying benefits such as healthier communities, reduced local air pollution, lower road traffic accident levels and a boost to their economy by increased visitor spending.

"We hope to make Preston a healthier, safer and greener place for people to live, work and visit."

Coun Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, added: “These proposals for greener and more environmentally sustainable movement around our city is vital for future development and essential for the well-being of our residents.

"Encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport aim to contribute to healthier communities and a more attractive visitor experience over time.

“It’s vital that we hear the views of residents, visitors and businesses on the range of proposals now in this public engagement phase, so I would encourage everyone to take part.”

Design of these works will continue over the next 12 months, with the construction of the works planned to be complete by spring 2023.

The council's design and construction team are talking to local businesses, and groups so that the needs of all users are considered.

You can have your say on the final details of the design at www.lancashire.gov.uk/fnr