Link road opening is '˜fantastic' for area
The new Â£140m Bay Gateway opened to traffic on Monday afternoon with up to 25,000 vehicles expected to use it each day.
The Bay Gateway links Heysham to the M6 at junction 34 and is the biggest new road to be built in Lancashire for decades.
The new road has been funded by £29m from Lancashire County Council and £111m from the Department of Transport.
David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, hailed the opening as the start of “a new prosperous chapter for Morecambe and Lunesdale”.
He said: “It’s fantastic (the link road). Within the next two weeks people will get used to the road and it will regenerate the area.That is the reason the government gave the ahead. 10% of the GDP of the UK comes through Heysham port. I’m trying to get an enterprise zone which could be a reality. I hope this will happen sooner rather than later.
“The Enterprise Zone should be a national programme. We are now talking about getting a new nuclear power station after the lifespan of Heysham 1 and 2 is depleted. Lancaster and Morecambe is a lovely place and the M6 link has opened up the area for other people.”
The road has already brought economic benefits to the area, with over 100 local long-term unemployed people being trained and employed during construction.
It is predicted that for every £1 invested in the road, the local economy will benefit by £4. Work began on the road in February 2014 although the idea for a link was first thought about in 1948, well before the M6 motorway was built.
The main part of the Bay Gateway scheme involved constructing a 4.8km dual carriageway from the A589 between Morecambe and Lancaster to an upgraded junction 34 on the M6, with additional measures to improve transport in the city, including a major new park and ride at junction 34.
The road will reduce congestion in the Lancaster area. Work on the entire project is due to be completed during spring 2017, with landscaping, motorway communications, and signing due to be finished over the winter.