James Towers Way, the name given to the Broughton Bypass, officially opened to vehicles earlier today (Thursday 5 October 2017).
The road has been named in honour of a local hero of World War One and recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC).
The new road was officially opened by Jake Berry MP, Minister for The Northern Powerhouse & Local Growth. The road is supported by the Northern Powerhouse. He was joined for the opening by Geoff Driver CBE, leader of Lancashire County Council; Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council; and Jim Carter, chair of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; along with representatives of the local community and family members of James Towers VC.
The first section, closest to the M55 opened to the public at around 11:30am, with remaining sections opening as planned in stages. The road is now fully open for public use, although some work will still be needed following the official opening, including landscaping.
Construction of the long-awaited road, which is just under 1.25 miles long, began in January 2016. The bypass is predicted 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. It 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 of improvements along the A6 through Broughton village, including immediate work to tackle flooding issues in the village. The A6 Garstang Road will be closed just south of Broughton village from Monday 9 October to Friday 10 November for long-awaited repairs to a culvert beneath the road - the new bypass will make this flood prevention work possible without causing major disruption.
The wider improvements to the village will see changes to the carriageway, footways and Guild Wheel to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and encourage vehicles to use the new road. A 20mph speed limit is planned through Broughton village itself.
The opening of the bypass will also see the immediate closure of D'Urton Lane at its eastern end to remove any rat running and improve conditions for Guild Wheel users. Access to the Guild Wheel along D'Urton Lane will be maintained following these changes.
The subway under the west side of the M55 roundabout which closed during the construction will be back in use following the official opening of the new road.