In March 2020, Lancashire County Council was granted £40m from the Transforming Cities Fund to support projects across Preston designed to boost connectivity by bus, rail and active travel in the form of cycling and walking.
The funding is set to be used towards a new parkway railway station at Cottam and improvements in the city to promote public transport and encourage more people to leave the car at home and walk and cycle instead.
The bid was supported by partner organisations from the public sector, including Preston City Council and South Ribble Borough Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), and local bus and rail providers.
The Transforming Friargate North & Ring Way project will see major changes to the Ring Way and north Friargate areas of the city centre as part of the overall scheme.
The project currently includes:
- Pedestrianisation of Friargate between Ring Way and Marsh Lane
- A new pedestrian-friendly crossing point and bus interchange stops at the Friargate-Ringway junction
- Bus priority at the Corporation Street junction and a bus gate on Corporation Street
- Cycle paths along Ringway, which would connect with Butler Street, Preston Railway Station and Avenham Park
A package of new technology systems is also being planned to improve the operation of the city-wide road network. The technology would see bus priority systems installed along Ringway and elsewhere to allow efficient flow of bus services into the city.