Broughton bypass named after war hero
The official name for the new road in Broughton is James Towers Way, named in honour of a local hero of World War One. Broughton-born Private James Towers was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his actions almost 100 years ago.
In 1918, Private Towers volunteered to relay a message as a runner. Five people had already lost their lives attempting it.
Private Towers made his way across No Man's Land, well aware of the fate of the runners who had already attempted the task, relayed his message and brought support for his company. He was serving in the 2nd Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in northern France.
The new name was officially agreed by Preston City Council earlier this week. It was chosen by Lancashire County Council, following a recommendation by Broughton Parish Council.
The new road, which was known as the Broughton Bypass during construction, opens on Thursday 5 October.
Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "It's almost a century since Private Towers' heroic actions, which makes this a fitting tribute.
"He knew the dangers he faced and risked his life to save his comrades. I'm proud that this new road will bear his name, and that more people will be made aware of his heroic actions."
James' granddaughter Glynis Castle, who lives in Preston, said: "We are very proud and pleased with this tribute to my grandfather. It seems very appropriate that it's in Broughton, as he lived and worked here.
"I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up. If my mum had still been here, I know that she would have been very pleased as well.
"I'd like to thank both councils for this honour, which means a lot to our family."
Councillor Robert Boswell, Executive Member for Community and Environment for Preston City Council, said: “It is with great pleasure that I am able to grant this honour to the memory of James Towers, with a road so significant to the village he grew up in. This tribute will enable us to pass the story of his bravery and sacrifice onto further generations."
The new road is forecast to reduce the number of vehicles travelling through the centre of Broughton village by up to 90% and improve journey times in and out of Preston. The road will also create better connectivity to the wider road network, with benefits to the development and economic growth of the local area.
Once the road has opened, work can begin on almost £2million in improvements along the A6 through Broughton village, including early work to tackle flooding issues in the village.
Construction of the road is a key part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, and the £251m Lancashire Growth Deal.
The City Deal will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.