Lancashire County Council has just opened an official consultation on remodelling Junction 33 of the M6 and creating a link road to enable drivers to by-pass Galgate on their way to and from campus and the proposed Bailrigg Garden Village. Simultaneously, they’re consulting on a
Movement and Public Realm Strategy for Lancaster City Centre, asking what should be done about the one-way system. City residents have received a letter and a glossy Transforming Lancaster Travel newsletter (that promises to be but the first of many issues). The deadline for responses is 6 December 2020 and you can find the documents at:
For the Galgate by-pass, there’s a short engineering options document and a very long environmental options document.
The engineers note that:
The development of the South Lancaster Strategic Growth Area [i.e. building the Bailrigg Garden Village on Burrow Heights with 3,500 homes] will depend upon providing new infrastructure including the re-configuration of Junction 33 (J33) of the M6. According to the environmental options document, the scheme’s objectives are to improve Junction 33, create a link to the Bailrigg Garden Village and improve air quality in Galgate. The University is mentioned only in passing, in the environmental options document, which notes that:
As the expansion of Lancaster University and Bailrigg Garden Village begin to take effect, the options for travel along the A6 highway corridor will become restricted as more demand is placed on the existing road network.
Residents are presented with six route options.
There are two Eastern Routes, linking J33 with Hazelrigg Lane to the south of campus, via routes to the east of the M6. There are a few challenges:
Eastern 1 involves
severing Stoney Lane in Galgate and
Eastern 2 involves
removing Hampson Farm near Galgate. There are two Central Routes, also linking J33 with Hazelrigg Lane, but this time heading parallel to the M6 and just to the west of it.
Central 2 offers an additional link to Ashton Road but is otherwise the same as
Central 1. Finally there are two Western Routes, both heading north west from J33 (
Western 1) or a point slightly north of J33 (
Western 2), crossing the Lancaster Canal on a new bridge and ending up in Burrow Heights.
All six routes involve continuing Hazelrigg Lane to the west at its junction with the A6, heading under the West Coast Main Line and joining Burrow Road, to give access between the A6 and the Bailrigg Garden Village. The cutting for the underbridge would be 2.4m below the level of the nearby Ou Beck and, consequently,
the drainage of this area would need to be by pump. There is very little detail on the environmental impact of effectively turning the A6-Hazelrigg Lane junction into a giant crossroads. Residents of Leach House Lane, located just to the west of the existing junction, are unlikely to be happy.
The engineers strongly prefer
Central 1 as it’s the cheapest route, it doesn’t involve crossing the Lancaster Canal and the drainage is superior.
The environmental report prefers
Western 1 and
Western 2 from a noise reduction point of view, but opts for
Central 1 from a traffic flow reduction point of view:
Central 1 is the only route option achieving a reduction of flow in the A6 through Galgate in both directions, in all peak periods and years modelled. The
Central 2 option might actually increase traffic flow due to cars cutting across between the A6 and Ashton Road.
The simultaneous consultation on the Lancaster one-way system has a prettily designed options document offering eight future visions that are, roughly:
return the loop to two-way traffic;
keep the loop but make one lane for buses and cycles only;
two-way to the west, buses and cycles only to the east;
two-way to the east, buses and cycles to the west;
no through city centre traffic;
no through city centre traffic during the day; and a £12 congestion charge. There is a distinct lack of costings for any of the options, but the congestion charge is appraised as the
Following the consultation, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet will make its final decision on the options in February 2021. This doesn’t seem like a lot of time to analyse the responses, but of course, they may want to get their decision over with before the whole council is up for re-election in May.