Friday, 8 March 2013

Archaeology checks to start on Heysham link road route

Lancashire County Council is to start checking for archaeological finds along the proposed route of the Heysham to M6 Link Road - so they obviously don't think the project is likely to be buried any time soon, despite vociferous objections.

Work will begin on Monday 11th March on land at Cottam's Farm off Caton Road to excavate trial trenches, with sites along the length of the route to be explored over the coming months.

The council has a duty to check sites which could be historically significant before beginning construction of the road, which is scheduled for this summer.

Steve McCreesh, project director, said: "A report on sites which could be of cultural and archaeological interest was presented as part of the planning process.

"We've already carried out a number of geophysical surv! eys and will start digging the actual trial trenches next week, so people will start to see some activity in the area.

"We're doing this preparatory work now to put us in the best possible position to start work on the road itself later in the summer."

The archaeological excavations will result in around 90 trenches, each measuring 50 metres by two metres, being dug along the length of the route.

The proposed link road will connect the peninsula directly to the M6, providing better access to Morecambe and industrial areas which include the Port of Heysham and the Heysham power stations.

The County Council claim it will also reduce congestion in the Lancaster area especially on Caton Road, Morecambe Road and the Greyhound and Skerton bridges, although those claims have been hotly disputed.

Construction alone is expected to employ over 3,000 people with around 100 local unemployed people to receive training and jobs during construction.

Lancashire County Council is awaiting a final planning decision on the Heysham to M6 Link scheme from the Secretary of State for Transport, which is due to be made by Tuesday 19th March.

• For more information go to www.lancashire.gov.uk/heyshamlink

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