What is the cost and start date of the road?

The final cost is £123.9m. 

The link road should be open to the public in summer 2016, although smaller elements will be open sooner. The Northgate and Morecambe Road junctions will be reconfigured and all four slip roads will be opened before the whole scheme is completed.  

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Does the road really offer value for money?

The latest economic assessment found for every £1 spent on the link road, the economy gets £4.40 back. This shows that the link will provide a very positive economic return. 

This return of over four times its cost is above the Department for Transport’s (DfTs) ‘Very High’ category which covers the very best transport schemes offering returns greater than four times their cost. This return being in the 'Very High' category is one of the reasons for the government funding the road.

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What support is there for the completion of the Heysham to M6 Link?

An independent MORI survey carried out in August and September 2001 as part of the 2001 public consultation exercise. Around 1,000 residents were selected at locations within the Lancaster area. The results showed overwhelming support for the link road at 79% (53% strongly support and 26% tend to support) with 8% opposing the building of the Scheme.

A public opinion survey carried out by the county council in February 2011 showed 76% of the people from Lancaster responding to the question about whether they thought the link was a good idea or not thought it was a good idea. Other support for the scheme comes from:

  • Both local MPs – David Morris and Eric Ollerenshaw
  • Majority of the Lancashire County Councillors in the Lancaster area
  • Lancaster City Council support the Scheme in their Core Strategy
  • Heysham Port Limited
  • Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Lancaster and Morecambe Vision Board

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Why build a route to the north when virtually all the traffic to the Peninsula comes from the south?

More of the traffic comes from the north and the east not from the south. Analysis showed that the traffic is split as follows:

  • Coming from the south (beyond M6 J33) - 43%
  • Coming from the north (beyond M6 J35) - 32%
  • Coming from the east (beyond M6 excluding Halton) - 25%

Therefore whilst 43% of traffic comes from the South, 57% comes from the north and east. Whereas any route to the west of Lancaster would only cater for traffic from the south the northern route caters for traffic from all directions and, because it attracts so much traffic from less suitable routes (for instance Hasty Brow Road, Barley Cop Lane and A5105 Coastal Road), it has to be built as a dual carriageway. The link road is shorter from the M6 at Junction 34 to Morecambe Road than the existing route via Caton Road.

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What will the Heysham to M6 Link do for traffic?

Around 64,500 vehicles a day travel to and from the Morecambe-Heysham peninsula which is identified as the area to the west of the West Coast Main Line railway.  It's forecast that around 33% will transfer onto the link road, significantly reducing traffic on the A5105 Coastal Road, Hasty Brow Road, Barley Cop Lane, B5321 Torrisholme Road and A683 Morecambe Road. For instance, traffic is reduced on Torrisholme Road by 39%.  The link road will replace the existing longer A683 route via Morecambe Road, the Lune Bridges and Caton Road to M6 Junction 34. Traffic along this corridor will be significantly reduced on Morecambe Road and on both the Lune Bridges (traffic reduced by 22%) and Caton Road (traffic reduced by 40%).

Overall journey times between the peninsula and the M6 motorway will be consistently shorter along a safer dual carriageway.  A new Junction 34 on the M6 designed to current standards replacing the existing junction with its hazardous entry and exit slip road connections. The removal of traffic from the detour routes around the city onto the more appropriate roads will also benefit the areas encountering the “rat-running”, potential for accidents in these areas will be reduced.

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Will pedestrians and cyclists be able to use the link road?

Running adjacent to the main link road will be a combined footway and cycleway.  There will be links back into the surrounding footway and cycleway network at various points along the route.  

During construction it will be necessary to temporarily divert some of the existing footways, footpaths and cycleways. This is to ensure your safety.

When we do have to temporarily close or divert footways and cycleways we will post details in advance of the closure and provide information about a suitable diversion route; closures will be kept to a minimum to avoid any unnecessary disruption. 

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Will public rights of way be maintained where they cross the new road?

Where possible existing rights of way will be maintained or relocated in consultation with landowners.

During construction it will be necessary to divert some routes temporarily until we provide safe access to the public. We are in discussion with the local Ramblers Association who are helping to shape our proposals.

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Will I still be able to access businesses on the route when roadworks are in place?

Access to businesses and properties will be maintained throughout construction of the link road.  There will be occasions where we may have to provide temporary access into a business or property, but this will be discussed with the business/property owner and agreed in advance.

Where it may be necessary to temporarily close an access we will try to do this out of operational hours for a business and for a property when people are out at work or not requiring access. This will be planned in advance with those affected. 

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Will access to the crematorium be available throughout the works?

We will maintain access to the crematorium throughout construction of the link road. We have already arranged to liaise with the crematorium staff on a regular basis alerting them to forthcoming roadworks that affect access to and from the site; they will then be able to advise people ahead of any service. 

Signage will also be provided advising of alternative routes during temporary closures of Barley Cop Lane. 

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What are your working hours?

Our core working hours will be from 0730 – 1800 Monday to Friday and 0730 – 1500 on Saturdays.

It will be necessary to complete some works outside of these core hours and sometimes during the night.  These shifts will be for specific key activities where it would cause too much disruption, or it is not possible, to complete them during the day. This includes works such as beam lifts for the railway bridge or works closing the slip roads.

Where we have to work at night time we will publicise this in advance. Any property owners affected will be contacted directly and given advanced notice of the works and the time it will take to complete. 

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What measures are being put in place to reduce the noise and dust during construction?

Noise

Dust

  • When vehicles and plant are not in use they must be switched off
  • Impose an appropriate speed limit around site
  • Engines and exhaust systems should be regularly serviced according to manufacturer’s recommendations and maintained to meet statutory limits.
  • All road vehicles should hold current MOT certificates
  • Generators must be well maintained and serviced to ensure efficient running and minimal emissions
  • All loads entering and leaving the site will be covered
  • Vehicle exhausts shall be pointed away from the ground and not directed at site entrances where possible.
  • Wheel washes will be used at site exits
  • During dry weather if dust is generated the site will be damped down.

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