More anger over A585 bypass after meeting with inspector

The public meeting into the new A585 bypass, staged at Thornton Little Theatre
The public meeting into the new A585 bypass, staged at Thornton Little Theatre

Concerned opponents of the proposed A585 bypass between Windy Harbour and Skippool are calling for the plans to be scrapped

And they are urging Wyre and Fylde residents to check out the details and let their concerns be known.

But the organisation behind the project says it is the best option for reducing congestion and argues it has support.
Poulton resident John Bailie, 75, of Blackpool Old Road, spoke out after a public meeting with a Planning Inspectorate official, who is examining the blueprint of the plans, was held at Thornton Little Theatre last night.
The new three mile carriageway, expected to cost a minimum of £100 million, is being put forward by Highways England as a much-needed solution to the serious congestion which has plagued the A585 for many years.
These problems particularly affect the stretch where it becomes Mains Lane at Singeton, meets Garstang New Road at Larbreck and the other end, becomes Amounderness Way heading into Fleetwood via Thornton.
But Mr Bailie says that not only will the new by-pass not solve the overall problem of congestion, but it will make problems worse, cause massive disruption and will ruin an area of countryside at Singleton.
Mr Bailie and other residents who attended the meeting say alternative plans need to be considered.
He said: “One of my concerns is that not enough people, including those who will be effected by this, seem to know the details and what it will mean or even knew about this meeting - there is not enough publicity.
“I urge those people to visit the Highways England website and look at it for themselves - before it is too late. There is still time to comment on this.
“Only about 80 people attended the hearing, which is not good enough.
Mr Bailie, a veteran campaigner on issues affecting the Poulton area, continued: “I have great concerns over the viability of this scheme, its cost, its flaws, the damage to the environment, especially at Singleton where it will cut right under the bridge at under Lodge Lane, ruining the lush countryside and destroying trees there.
“There will be two horrendously complex junctions at the River Wyre Hotel roundabout at Skippool, with 44 traffic signals there alone.
“Additionally, there is a minimum cost of £100 million but I have heard it could be more like £150million.
“Yet it will effectively save just a few minutes on people’s times.”
Maria Cassidy of Skippool Road, said: "We are all of the opinion that a new road is required but this one is definitely not the one.

"We feel that this scheme has not been thought through properly and other alternatives are more favourable.

"This scheme upsets so many families and destroys so much beautiful countryside.

"However, if I thought that it would benefit road users , cyclists and pedestrians of course I would be in favour, but it does not.

"I would urge people not to support this road-- there are alternatives."
But Highways England say the Route One, one of two options, is the best one and will bring genuine benefits.
A decision on the bypass is expected to be made in April after the Inspector’s report goes to the Secretary of State, likely to be around January.

A Highways England spokesman stated after recent consultation: “The feedback from local stakeholders, including the area’s councils and MPs, and from people attending our public information event earlier this year, has been overwhelmingly supportive of our plans.

“This is an important £5m investment which, in tandem with the Windy Harbour to Skippool bypass, will provide significant improvements to people’s journeys along the A585. In terms of traffic management we have been working hard to devise a construction programme which can deliver the new junction arrangements with as little disruption to people’s journeys as possible although it is inevitable that any project of this scale will mean some short term inconvenience to different road users at different times.

“We will be publicising more information about traffic management before we start work at the end of July.”

People can express interest / concern:

Email: A585WindyHarbourtoSkippool@planninginspectorate.gov.uk


Post: National Infrastructure Planning, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN