Improving travel around Preston city centre
Recent changes to roads in Preston city centre have helped to reduce congestion, according to Lancashire County Council.
The county council introduced the changes to the road layout in a bid to tackle long-standing congestion at peak times, in the run-up to the festive period.
The changes have made a difference to travel times, and the county council will continue to monitor the situation.
New temporary signs were added this weekend around the city centre to help drivers' awareness of the recent changes and improve journey times for people travelling home after their visit.
Marshalls have been introduced for the festive period, to keep the traffic flowing by helping drivers who are less familiar with the city centre. They'll be in place on weekends in the run-up to the festive period, and on other days directly leading up to Christmas.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
"Christmas is a key time for shops and businesses, so we're taking action to address concerns and encourage people to visit Preston. We want people to come into the city centre and then be able to head home easily.
"Our aim is to help motorists and pedestrians to get around the city centre. We introduced these changes to stop traffic building up in certain parts of the city, at the busiest times.
"Some of the recent changes have gone well, improving the situation by helping people to get around the city centre. For example, the number of people turning right at the top of Butler Street has reduced significantly since these recent changes were brought in, and we're hopeful that this number will reduce even further.
"Our engineers continue to monitor the traffic flow in and around the city centre, and they're adjusting signal timings and sequencing to get the best that we can out of the network.
"We've also added more signs around the city, including through Avenham to help people based on where they're going.
"Highways staff have been keeping an eye on the changes and we will continue to monitor the situation.
"We definitely don't want to issue any £60 Penalty Charge Notices, but it's an important way for us to enforce these changes. The aim is to help to reduce traffic build-up that has affected the city centre at the busiest times."
"During the first two weeks of these changes we chose to give warnings to drivers, rather than a £60 penalty. This gave people the chance to become familiar with the new arrangements.
"These changes have been introduced to improve traffic flow, not to raise money. Any money raised from the PCNs will be put into road safety measures."
The new plans were put forward following extensive traffic modelling and discussions with Preston BID, Preston City Council, Virgin Trains, the managers of the Fishergate Centre and St George's Centre, and managers of other city centre retailers/businesses.
The county council has met with their representatives since these changes came in, to find out the effect the changes have had, and look at any further options.
The cost of the changes have been funded by Lancashire County Council.
For more details about the changes visit: www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/strategies-policies-plans/roads-parking-and-travel/major-transport-schemes/fishergate-central-gateway-project.aspx.