A lengthy programme of roadworks in Bamber Bridge could be necessary for the new Ikea site.
The developers behind the plan for an Ikea and business park – which it is said will create 4,500 jobs – have unveiled details of the road improvements necessary for the site.
Six junctions in the Bamber Bridge area will need work, including creating an extra lane on the A6/A49 roundabout and new signals on the M65 terminus roundabout.
If planning permission is granted for the site, it could mean commuters entering Preston from the south could face months of delays – and roadworks on the Pope Lane approach have already overrun by several months.
People living near the site have raised serious concerns about traffic in the area, including at a special public meeting this week.
Around 100 people attended the event at St Catherine’s Hospice to hear full details of the changes.
But afterwards John Jones of campaign group Limit Cuerden criticised the new designs saying there were still major concerns over the impact on traffic flow.
He said: “It’s piecemeal adjustments. It’s not going to make much difference.
“People were saying they’re just not listening. It needs to be right and it’s not right yet. They need to go away and have a radical rethink.”
The Cuerden Strategic Site has been hailed as a “once in a generation” opportunity to create 4,500 jobs, provide new commercial space and bring big players such as IKEA to the area.
Lancashire County Council has joined with Eric Wright Construction, the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and the Brookhouse Group to deliver the development which will go to South Ribble’s planning committee for a decision in the autumn.
A spokesman for the development said the new proposals were intended to bring “further improvements to transport and connectivity, landscaping and design” and added: “We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to attend. Some very useful feedback was provided. Updated plans are available on the website, www.thisiscuerden.co.uk and we’d encourage the community to give us their thoughts. ”
County Councillor Michael Green said: “The scheme overall is positive, but we’ve got to make sure it doesn’t cause a massive problem for the highways network in South Ribble.”
The full plans are:
1. Lengthening of the Stanifield Lane approach, including the left turn lane, on the A582 roundabout
2. Lengthening of the right turn lane and general widening of both the east and west approach on the A49/A582/A6 roundabout
3. Lengthening and creation of an additional turn lane on the A49 northbound approach arm and additional left lane turns on the A6 east and west approach. New left lanes are also to be added on the A6 Church Road and A6 Lostock Lane West
4. Signals on the M6 southbound slip road approach on the A582/A6/M6 junction
5. Redistribution of traffic through a tertiary access on Stanifield Lane to relieve pressure on the Stanifield Lane signalised roundabout. This access point is not required for the retail phase of the development, but is proposed for the wider outline application
6. Widening and new signals introduced to the M65 terminus roundabout