Road will bring huge jobs boost

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Up to 3,000 people will be involved in the construction of the new Heysham to M6 Link road when work gets underway in July.

In less than three years, Morecambe and Heysham will be linked to the M6 by a new 4.8km dual carriageway passing through Torrisholme and over farmland, country roads, the Lancaster canal, West Coast Mainline and the River Lune.

The road, which is one of the biggest infrastructure projects the district has ever seen, will link the Heysham bypass close to Lancaster & Morecambe College with a new reconstructed Junction 34 of the M6.

Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, gave the thumbs up for the £123m scheme on Tuesday, following years of debate.

Lancashire County Council said the road will result in better access for Morecambe and its industrial areas – including the Port of Heysham and Heysham power stations – and will reduce congestion in Lancaster, especially in Caton Road, Morecambe Road and on Greyhound and Skerton bridges, as well as boosting the local economy.

Campaigners have argued that the road will not relieve congestion, and will do little for the local economy, while also having a detrimental effect on the environment.

Proposals for the link were first announced in the Road Plan for Lancashire in 1948, but some say the idea goes back even further.

The county council said that around 100 local unemployed people will also receive training and jobs during the construction phase, expected to be completed by December 2015.

Nobody at the project’s main contractors Costain, based in Maidenhead, was available for comment as the Lancaster Guardian went to press.