The Heysham to M6 Link Road is one of Lancashire's top priority transport projects. The new road will complete the long awaited connection from the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula to Junction 34 of the M6, and will be a 4.8km dual carriageway with a footpath and cycleway along the entire route.

The project also involves a fully remodelled junction 34, with new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a 600 space park and ride site. The new road will provide better access for residents, businesses and tourists to the area.

The new road will bring huge economic and transport benefits to the county. As well as easing congestion caused by traffic travelling through Lancaster city centre, the link road will greatly increase the potential for investment in the surrounding area. A study has predicted that for every £1 invested in the link road, the community will get over £4.00 back.

The main benefits of the link road include:

  • Improved journey times and reducing congestion
  • Better local air quality especially in areas subject to high levels of pollution such as the city centre and the centre of Carnforth
  • Improved journey times to popular tourist and recreation areas in the North West
  • Improved access to existing industrial areas and development sites, providing a boost to the local economy
  • Regeneration for the region during and after construction of the road – construction alone will employ over 3,000 people. In the region of 100 local unemployed people will be trained and employed
  • Improved access to the proposed new nuclear power station
  • A 'park and ride' scheme that will help to boost the Lancaster economy by improving access to the city centre
  • Improved air quality, biodiversity, bus, cycle and walking opportunities

The story so far

1948

The Heysham to M6 Link was originally identified in the document ‘Road Plan for Lancashire’.

1962

The case for the link road was further made in the Lancashire Development Plan.

1994

The Lancaster to Morecambe bypass opened, becoming the first phase of a project to link the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula to the M6.

2004

After carrying out public consultations and environmental investigations on potential routes for the scheme, the county council selected the northern route for completion of the Heysham to M6 Link.

2008

The road is granted planning permission in February 2008 after a five-week public inquiry in summer 2007.

2009

The road is awarded ‘programme entry’ status by the Department for Transport (DfT), an indication by the government to fund the scheme.

2010

After work on the scheme is briefly suspended due to a government spending review; the DfT put the scheme in the supported pool, confirming they will fund the scheme subject to a ‘Best and Final Funding Bid’.

2011

The DfT accept the best and final bid offer and confirm their funding contribution of £111m.

A new planning application for the road is submitted to Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), the government organisation responsible for examining planning applications for major infrastructure projects.

2012

The IPC holds an examination into the project in summer 2012 and issued a report of recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport.

2013

The Secretary of State for Transport grants full approval in March 2013 to progress with construction.

2014

Work finally begins to build the road!

2016

The Bay Gateway opens to traffic.

2017

The Bay Gateway is officially opened by Lord Shuttleworth KG KCVO.

Reports and Plans