Work has begun on uncorking a notorious bottleneck in Preston city centre.
The experimental project will make Lune Street two-way to help ease congestion in Fishergate and Avenham and allow motorists a smoother exit from St George’s Shopping Centre.
A new junction will be created at the botttom of Lune Street taking traffic onto Ringway. The opening will mean the removal of part of the wall and planter near to Bar 1842, but will not affect the Lune Street “Martyrs” statues of mature trees nearby.
The work, which began yesterday, is expected to take two weeks and the experiment will be assessed next summer with a view to it being made permanent. The scheme will lead up to the re-introduction of the controversial Fishergate bus lanes in time for the pre-Christmas shopping rush.
Cameras, which captured around 30,000 motorists breaking the rules before they were ruled unfair, will be switched back on.
“These changes are intended to reduce traffic congestion in Preston city centre, particularly as we will soon reintroduce enforcement of the bus lanes on Fishergate in the very busy run up to Christmas,” explained Coun Keith Iddon (pictured), LCC cabinet member for highways and transport. “The introduction of the bus lanes on Fishergate particularly affected shoppers using the St Georges Centre car park and resulted in more traffic through the Avenham area These changes to Lune Street are intended to relieve congestion by creating access to alternative routes out of the city centre via Ringway.
“We are confident that these changes to Lune Street will help, but it is not possible to predict their full impact with any certainty. We are therefore using an experimental traffic regulation order to introduce them, which allows us to easily change the design again if we need to.”