A683 Lancaster Northern Bypass

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Scheme Outline

Scheme details

Timescale
2012-2016
Status
Under construction
Type
Bypass or realignment for use by all traffic
Cost
£ 123m
Authority
Lancashire County Council
Region: North West
Finance
Central Government/LCC
Length
5 km
3 miles

Construction of a new route from the existing dualled section of the A683 between Morecambe and Lancaster to junction 34 of the M6, providing a northern bypass for the city and improving motorway access for Morecambe and Heysham (including the ferry links to Ireland and Isle of Man).

The new road will be dual two-lane (D2) standard, with signalised junctions provided at each end, one replacing the existing Morecambe Road roundabout. Half-way along the route there will be a roundabout and slip road to connect with the A6. At its eastern end, it will meet the M6 north of the Lune, with an entry slip road to the M6 northbound. A dual two-lane link road will cross the river to the existing junction 34, which will be improved to accommodate the new road and improve the sliproad alignments.

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Progress

14 March 2007 A public inquiry was held in February and residents are now awaiting the result.
14 March 2008
14 July 2008
4 June 2010 A contractor has been appointed to build the new road. Construction will not start until late 2010 at the earliest.
12 June 2010 The current scheme to renew the cabling with fibre optics between Preston and Carlisle has avoided a stretch of approx 1km from just south of J34 to north of J34; also some remedial barrier works have been halted near the planned site of the new north bound entry slip road. This may indicate that works are expected to start in the near future.
24 June 2010 LCC has suspended all work on this scheme pending the result of the spending review in autumn 2010.
27 October 2010 Funding for this scheme was confirmed in a statement by the Transport Secretary yesterday. The funding is subject to a 'best and final offer' from LCC - in other words, they must reduce costs.
31 January 2011
5 February 2011 Funding for this scheme has been approved by the government with construction expected to start in late 2012.
27 June 2011 Additional public consultations are taking place during June and July 2011, prior to the submission of a revised planning application by LCC. Construction is not now expected to start before summer 2013.
2 July 2011 A proposal was made that the new road would be single carriageway rather than dual in order to reduce construction costs.
3 April 2012 The scheme has been accepted for examination by the IPC and now awaits final approval from the Secretary of State.
28 September 2014 This scheme is now well under construction, with modified slip roads now in progress.
28 May 2015 Half of the main bridge spans are now in place.
3 August 2015 The last of the Lune West Bridge main beams were erected on the 15th July.
10 March 2016 The new southbound slip roads have opened at M6 J34.
10 October 2016 According to the project website, the new road is currently scheduled to open to traffic on 31 October 2016. However, landscaping and signage work will continue until Spring 2017. The new road will be called the Bay Gateway.
1 November 2016 The road opened to traffic yesterday afternoon. Construction and landscaping works will continue until spring 2017, when the scheme will be officially opened.
3 February 2017 The roundabout near Beaumont College which connects the Bay Gateway to the A6 has seen a number of accidents and is very dark at night with no lampposts nearby, so work is being done with speed restrictions and two lanes merging into one on approach to the roundabout from both directions of the Bay Gateway.

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More information

Official website
Lancashire County Council: Heysham to M6 Link
Vimeo: Over Road, Rail and Water.. following the construction of the Heysham to the M6 Link Road

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With thanks to John R Jones, David Peek, Ian Taylor, Steve S, Scott Spencer and Michael Pritchard for information on this page.

This scheme was last updated on 10 February 2017.