Good progress being made with construction of new Fylde coast link road

Construction of the M55 to Heyhouses Link Road is continuing at pace with the dry summer weather allowing good progress with the earthworks which are preparing the foundation for the road.

This phase is on schedule to be completed around the end of this year ready for work on the upper layers of the road and other final elements to begin in early 2023, with the road scheduled to be completed and ready to open at the end of 2023.

The M55 to Heyhouses Link Road will improve access between Lytham St Annes and the M55, relieve congestion on smaller local roads, and support the commercial viability of local housing and business development sites.

Work began on the road in June 2021, which will link the Whitehills roundabout to the north with Heyhouses Lane near the Cypress Point development site.

Over recent months work has focused on improving drainage at the southern end of the site. Around 15,000 tonnes of stone is being imported to create a solid foundation over 200m of the planned road length where the ground is particularly soft.

Work is also progressing well on laying the foundations along the full length of the road, where stone is being used to compact the peaty ground and stabilise it in readiness for the construction of the upper layers.

The earth which has been excavated as part of this process is being used elsewhere on the site to create landscaping features such as shallow mounds to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

Further excavations have been taking place to create open swales and ditches which will help to manage water in the vicinity of the road, while also providing a home for wildlife once new vegetation becomes established. Nesting boxes have also been installed to support local birdlife.

Work is currently starting to install tanks for the storage of rainwater which drains from the new road. These will process any pollutants washed from the road before slowly discharging into surrounding watercourses to help mitigate the risk of flooding during intense rainfall.

County Councillor Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The link road will make a huge difference to travel in this area, and I'm pleased to see it taking shape according to schedule.

"Our teams on site have had to contend with some difficult ground conditions over the winter, and it's a real credit to them that they've continued to make good progress despite this.

"It's been a long time coming but there's now less than 18 months to go until the road opens, and I'm already looking forward to the current earthworks making way for the final stage of construction at the start of next year."

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Borough Council, said: "I am glad to see that the timeline to complete the road is around the end of next year. It is great news and cannot come quick enough.

"Fylde Council have invested £2m in partnership with other government bodies to meet the funding required given the priority this scheme represents to Fylde residents. It will make commutes to work and visits to Fylde so much easier, benefiting the local economy and saving on the cost of fuel as congestion is eased."

Debbie Francis OBE, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: "It’s fantastic to see this important transport link progressing which has benefitted from £5.79m investment from the LEP’s Getting Building Fund.

"Once complete, the M55 Heyhouses Link Road is expected to deliver a significant boost to the local economy, unlocking and accelerating housing and employment developments on the Fylde Coast.

"This scheme will also improve connectivity to the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, as well as other key business hubs, making the area a more attractive proposition for inward investment.”"

Mark Menzies MP, Member of Parliament for Fylde, said: "I am pleased to see good progress being made on the new moss road which will improve motorway connections for many residents and businesses in Fylde.

"I fought hard to help secure this important investment which will make a massive difference for our local communities.

"The new link is crucial and will help ease congestion on other routes in Fylde.

"I am looking forward to seeing the road really taking shape in the coming months and to the long-awaited opening."

The road is being funded thanks to contributions from or managed through the Department for Transport, Highways England, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancashire County Council, Fylde Borough Council, and secured from development.