The man heading up plans for a Broughton bypass road has spoken to reassure worried residents as they prepare to submit objections.
Hundreds of people turned out for information on the scheme at events in Goosnargh, Fulwood and Broughton, with many concerned about vagueness of plans and the impact on rural villages.
Since plans were formally lodged on Monday, a 21-day consultation period has been launched for written representations.
Marcus Hudson, head of planning at Lancashire County Council, said: “This is an emotive subject, the same way that most road schemes are.
“This has been on the Preston local plan for a long time, and although a lot of other options have been considered, including a new motorway junction, adding more capacity to the A6, and other routes for the bypass, this is seen as the most credible.”
The bypass, to relieve congestion through the centre of Broughton, would have a single carriageway on the northern section from the A6 Garstang Road to the B5269 Whittingham Lane.
The southern section, from the B5269 Whittingham Lane to Broughton roundabout (M55 junction 1), would be a four-lane single carriageway.
Mr Hudson said meetings are being held with owners of farmland the bypass would be built on, and features, such as an underpass for cows that need to be moved for milking, are being considered.
He disputed persistent concerns that the bypass would only move congestion from one area to another.
He said: “We’re confident that this won’t happen. The bypass will provide more physical capacity, and you can also manage traffic better with roundabouts.
“We didn’t want to put a big roundabout in at Broughton crossroads, as it would need a lot of space, and would probably take half of the centre out.”
He added: “Moving traffic more effectively will benefit Preston, as it is a factor when people are considering buying homes and setting up businesses.”
Mr Hudson also addressed rumours the A6 will be blocked, stating: “The A6 is not closing”.
Planners are instead looking at building footpaths out further, or creating a dedicated Guild Wheel cycling lane.
Funding is already in place for the northern section of the bypass, with money for the southern section relying on a multi-million pound deal with English Partnerships for the development of the Whittingham Hospital site.
A council spokesman said: “Although there is a 21 day consultation period, in reality, the council will take representations up to three or four days before the committee hearing, which is likely to be held in October.”
Submit written comments to: Development Management Group, PO Box 100, County Hall, Preston, PR1 0LD. Alternatively, email: email@example.com