Upgrade on key North West coastal route opens to traffic
Drivers heading to the popular North West resorts of Blackpool and Fleetwood this summer will benefit from major improvements to a key roundabout which is expected to provide safer, and easier journeys drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
To mark the completion of the important A585 Norcross roundabout improvement in Lancashire, a survey has been launched today (Friday 31 July) to give everyone a say on how they felt the improvements were delivered during the eleven-month, £12.3 million project at Thornton-Cleveleys.
Highways England has also released a combined time-lapse and drone footage video – at https://vimeo.com/440019008/d7c0247542 – to mark the junction transformation which started last July.
The roundabout, which serves the A585 Amounderness Way and local roads, has been totally transformed with a new roundabout layout backed by traffic signals for the first time – all designed to cut congestion and make travelling through the junction safer and fairer for everyone.
The new arrangements went ‘live’ last month but contractors have remained on site to carry out landscaping, tackle any snagging issues and monitor and make any adjustment to the traffic light timings.
Highways England’s senior project manager Steve Mason said:
“This new junction will make travelling through the junction much safer, smoother and fairer for all concerned. We worked really hard before the start and during the project to establish a conversation with local people and other road users and we would like to thank them for their patience and support as the project ran into ‘extra time’.
“Given our determination to do the work while keeping the A585 open at all times this was always going to be a complicated project and we ran into a number of issues including unexpected ground conditions like uncharted disused utility piping and cables.
“We also had to adjust the programme a few times – for example to reduce late night noise nuisance to local residents or change working habits in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our traffic management arrangements also had to be adjusted after issues with a minority of drivers driving through the roadworks.”
Mr Mason said the new junction arrangements, particularly the operation of the new traffic signals, would continue to be monitored over the next few weeks.
He said, “We routinely review the way all our schemes are delivered but in this case we’re running a survey so local people can talk to us about their experience of the work.”
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport which runs buses in the area, welcomed the survey and praised the level of consultation and communication before and during the project.
He said: “For my part the consultation process, and the assistance we were given to ensure that service disruption was kept to a minimum was second to none.”
The survey can be completed online and is available at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a585-norcross-roundabout/. A printed copy of the survey is also available by emailing [email protected] or by calling Highways England’s 24-7 contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
The Norcross roundabout project was funded from a national £220 million congestion relief programme to tackle traffic ‘hotspots’, supporting new housing and jobs. More than £27 million was spent in the North West and as well as the project at Norcross roundabout other work delivered between 2015 and this year included:
- a £1 million project to improve the A595 and A66 Fitz roundabout near Cockermouth in Cumbria
- £1.6 million for widening the A595 and A66 junction at Great Clifton near Workington
- £800,000 to improve the roundabout traffic lights where the A585 meets the M55 at junction 3 just outside Blackpool
- £21 million for smaller-scale improvements across the North West
The completion of the work at Norcross has enabled the £150 million new A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool bypass project to get fully underway.