Decision details

Publication of the Draft District of Lancaster Highways and Transport Masterplan for Consultation Purposes

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: No

Purpose:

 

The 2012/13-14/15 Implementation Plan to Lancashire's Local Transport Plan programmes the preparation of a series of highways and transport masterplans to cover the county.  These masterplans will provide the basis for determining future transport investment priorities for the County Council.

 

Changes to the way transport infrastructure is funded will come into effect from 2015/16. From that time, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will be responsible for a multi-million pound budget devolved from the Department for Transport. This creates for the first time the opportunity to integrate key economic and transport priorities and plans. The LEP will be responsible for the review and approval of individual major scheme business cases and ensuring effective delivery of the programme.

 

The fifth and final masterplan to be produced covers Lancaster district. The masterplan identifies problems, gaps and opportunities on the highways and public transport systems serving Lancaster and how they impact on the area's economy. It also shows how major investment secured through the initial Growth Deal negotiated with central government will bring significant benefits to the area.

 

The completion of the Heysham to M6 link road is one of the largest road construction projects currently managed by a local authority in England.  At a cost of £128.62 million, it will directly connect the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula to a reconfigured Junction 34 of the M6. The link is expected to open to traffic in summer 2016, when it will fundamentally change traffic patterns in the district, with huge implications for how we can realise our ambitions for transport and travel in the district.

 

Building on the complementary measures required on the opening of the link road, the masterplan goes further to propose that Lancaster City Centre should ultimately have only limited through traffic, with no gyratory system and no barriers to sustainable travel. Park and Ride/Cycle sites at M6 Junctions 33 and 34, a rapid transit service between South Lancaster and Heysham via Lancaster city centre and Morecambe and district wide cycling and ultra-low emission vehicles strategies would all be enabled by the proposed relocation of Junction 33.

 

Morecambe Place-shaping would help to enable the Morecambe Area Action Plan, as will better rail connectivity between Morecambe and Lancaster. We will also investigate how better connectivity around Morecambe Bay can be achieved.

 

Carnforth would see an improved town centre, with better roads and public spaces. We will also look to see how northbound rail connectivity can be improved.

 

The final component of the masterplan concerns rural transport. We will work to maintain rural public transport and work to providing provision that meets the specific needs of residents and businesses in the rural area. As part of this, we will look at how rail connectivity can be improved and how we can make travel in the rural area as sustainable as possible, always acknowledging that the car will have a significant role to play.

 

This consultation masterplan represents the beginning of a programme of infrastructure delivery to serve Lancaster over the next 15 to 20 years and beyond.

 

A public consultation is proposed, lasting from 23rd March to7th May 2015. During the consultation, the County Council will be identifying and writing to key stakeholders, including district, town and parish councils, and local MPs, to invite comments on the proposals, placing press releases in the area, leafleting at transport hubs, town halls and libraries, and approaching major employers to raise awareness with as wide a population as we can.  Given the level of interest there is likely to be in the masterplan, we also propose to hold public events to ensure that those who wish to can speak to an officer directly.

 

Then, in order to obtain the best chance of delivery, we must get these improvements ‘ready to roll’ as soon as we can, so that we can take all opportunities to get funding for schemes that are ready to deliver. That will mean committing time and funding ‘upfront’ to working up these ideas and preparing the economic case for them.

 

Decision:

 

 

County Councillor John Fillis, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport approved the publication of the draft Highways and Transport Master Plan for the District of Lancaster, presented at 'Appendix A', for public consultation purposes.

 

This decision should be implemented immediately for the purposes of Standing Order 34(3) as any delay could adversely affect the execution of the County Council's responsibilities. The reason for this is the requirement to print the consultation document externally in readiness for commencement of consultation.

Urgent item?: Yes

Date of decision: 18/03/2015

Accompanying Documents: