Highways chiefs have unveiled a £1m plan aimed at slashing accidents at some of the county’s worse blackspots.
The county council has worked with experts at the University of Central Lancashire to analyse statistics and accident patterns to make sure it is targeting the right areas before work goes ahead.
The results will see a numbered of tailored proposals ranging from flashing lights at speeding hotspots to signs at busy junctions warning motorists to look out for cyclists.
The county saw a sharp rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured over recent years, from 68 to 100 from 2012 to 2013 – which is the latest available data.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, has already approved the package, which features a wide range of measures – based on research – about the most effective way to cut deaths and serious injuries at accident hotspots, and reduce speeds at sites of community concern.
The project will be implemented over two years
Coun Fillis said: “As a key member of the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety, we’ve been working closely with partners including the police and fire service for many years to make our roads safer, and I’m glad to say many fewer people are killed and seriously injured on our roads now than just four or five years ago.
“However, death or serious injury has a major impact on individuals and their families, as well as our economy, which is why investment in road safety continues to be a high priority for the county council, despite the pressures on our budget due to central government cuts.”
He added that “very careful research” was carried out to make ensure the £1m “makes a real difference” to preventing accidents and improving people’s lives where speeding is an ongoing problem.
The councillor added: “These schemes also demonstrate our increasing focus on supporting sustainable modes of transport, with a number of them being designed to make walking an easier option and to ensure the safety of cyclists on some of our busiest roads.”
Among proposals in the pipeline are £65,000 to be spent on markings,kerbs and signal junction alterations at Blackpool Road, Ashton, Preston, between Pedders Lane and Parker Street, and £56,000 on improving signs and markings, anti-skid surfacing on Watkin Lane at Lostock Hall,
Better signs will also be put at the A6 and A582 Roundabouts including Brownedge Road Roundabout, Walton-Le-Dale and Cuerden roundabout at Bamber Bridge.
Also under the spotlight are signage improvements to the junction of the A59 Ringway from its junction with Church Road to its junction with Hunt Street in Preston city centre.
An estimated £48,500 will be spent on junction realignments, including relocating the central island, and improving the traffic signals on the A565
Southport New Road junction with the A59 in Tarleton.
Peter Ward is chairman of the Preston’s Guild Wheel committee and the British Cycling representative for cycling safety on both Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council.
He said that unlike other road accidents, the number of fatal and serious accidents among cyclists was increasing and he welcomed any measure to make the roads safer.
Mr Ward said: “The best examples are schemes like the Guild Wheel and millennium cycleway in Lancaster.
“There are a numbers of schemes that could be implemented in Lancashire to make routes safer for cyclists and families.
“There are also possibilities that have been about for some time, such as the cycleway from Preston to Longridge, which has long been in construction and is well short of being finished.”
He said he was “looking forward” to discussing the proposals on the county’s cycle liaison committee.