Flood wall: Lancaster cycle path diversion work due to start in September

Caton Road in Lancaster.
Caton Road in Lancaster.

Work to build a two mile flood wall along the river Lune in Lancaster is expected to start later this year.

Lancaster City Council said that construction of the wall, which will cost £9m to build and stretch between the Bay Gateway Bridge near Halton and Skerton Bridge, is due to start in mid-November.

The McDonalds junction in Caton Road

The McDonalds junction in Caton Road

Kevin Frea, deputy leader of the council, said the closure of the shared use path during construction would be “keenly felt”, but added he was hopeful that a temporary route along Caton Road would provide an off-road option for cyclists.

The flood wall is being built to protect business premises along Caton Road, which suffered badly from flooding during Storm Desmond in 2015.

But cycling groups and commuters have criticised the diversion, arguing that work could be carried out instead from the business premises that the wall is set to benefit.

A spokesman for the city council said that a new route along Caton Road would include “significant improvements” with the creation of a multi-use path, costing £300,000.

Work on this will begin in September.

The spokesman said: “The new route will see significant improvements being made, with the creation of a multi-use path along existing pavements on Caton Road, ensuring that cyclists can continue to use an off road route safely. Similar schemes have operated successfully in other parts of the district, most notably on Westgate in Morecambe.

“New road markings will give cyclists right of way at all but one road junction, that with McDonald’s, where traffic flows considerably exceed expected cycle flows, where an option to provide a signal controlled crossing is being explored.

“A new pavement for multi-use is proposed on the west side of Caton Road and changes will be made with the junction at Langdale Place to make it safer for cyclists to cross. An additional Toucan crossing is also proposed at the southern end of the alternative route.

“Work on the improvements, subject to being signed off as part of the planning conditions, will begin in September and cost around £300,000.

Coun Kevin Frea, Cabinet member with responsibility for flooding, said: “The Lune cycle path is a great asset to the residents of Halton and the Lune valley, many of whom use it daily to commute to work, and for leisure, and its closure will be keenly felt.

“Creating a diversion route that is safe has been paramount so I’m hopeful that this temporary route will continue to provide an off-road option for cyclists who would normally use the riverside path, and be available afterwards as an alternative route along Caton Road.”