Work will start early in the new year on the delayed £124.5 million Heysham to M6 Link Road after the Court of Appeal threw out a call for a judicial review of the Transport Secretary’s decision to approve the scheme. Around 3,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction.
Costain had earlier been awarded the construction contract and has been on site for some weeks getting mobilisation under way. The project, which was granted development consent in March, is a priority for Lancashire County Council. The planning process involved six months of examination of the case with three weeks of public hearings at which a campaigners group called Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe led opposition which led to a High Court challenge.
Following a two day hearing in July the High Court ruled against the campaigners in October, refusing permission to apply for judicial review. A final application to the Court of Appeal to reverse the High Court decision this week was also refused.
The road will complete a connection between the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula and junction 34 on the M6. It will be dual carriageway with a footpath and cycleway.
The construction works will involve remodelling junction 34, new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a park and ride site for 600 vehicles. The link will provide improved access to Morecambe and industrial areas including the Port of Heysham and the Heysham power stations. It is also designed to reduce congestion in the Lancaster area.
Improving links to Heysham Port which is the third largest in the north west of England is hoped to allow it to develop as a hub for services to Ireland. The port specialises in roll-on roll-off freight and is also a supply base for a major offshore gas field and wind farms. Severe road congestion is said to be acting as a barrier to growth.
Image: Lancashire County Council