Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce has been an active participant in the debate about a Heysham - M6 Link Road for more than two decades.
Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce believe that this is one of the most important issues facing the local economy and that the road is vital in terms of protecting jobs and attracting new investment to the area.
In common with the population of the district the membership of Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce was split on which route they preferred. However, in 2004 prior to the announcement of the preferred route by Lancashire County Council, the Board of Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce, representing more than 500 business members throughout the district, resolved to support whichever route Lancashire County Council as Highway Authority selected as its preferred route.
Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce thus committed its full support and stressed the importance of the contribution that the construction of the Link Road will make to the future economic and environmental prosperity of the District.
The Heysham to M6 Link Road is one of Lancashire's top priority transport projects. The new road will complete the long awaited connection from the Heysham and Morecambe peninsula to Junction 34 of the M6, and will be a 4.8km dual carriageway with a footpath and cycleway along the entire route.
The project also involves a fully remodelled junction 34, with new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a 600 space park and ride site. The new road will provide better access for residents, businesses and tourists to the area.
The new road will bring huge economic and transport benefits to the county. As well as easing congestion caused by traffic travelling through Lancaster city centre, the link road will greatly increase the potential for investment in the surrounding area. A study has predicted that for every £1 invested in the link road, the community will get £4.40 back.
The main benefits of the link road include:
- Improved journey times and reducing congestion
- Better local air quality especially in areas subject to high levels of pollution such as in Lancaster city centre and the centre of Carnforth
- Improved journey times to popular tourist and recreation areas in the North West
- Improved access to existing industrial areas and development sites, providing a boost to the local economy
- Regeneration for the region during and after construction of the road – construction alone will employ over 3,000 people. In the region of 100 local unemployed people will be trained and employed
- Improved access to the proposed new nuclear power station
- A 'park and ride' scheme that will help to boost the Lancaster economy by improving access to the city centre
- Improved air quality, biodiversity, bus, cycle and walking opportunities