Friday, 18 March 2016

Heysham to M6 link road will be named The Bay Gateway

County Councillor Jennifer Mein with a Bay Gateway sign

The official name for the new Heysham to M6 Link Road is The Bay Gateway, chosen by the public.

More than 9,000 votes were cast, with The Bay Gateway taking almost half of all votes.

The official name for the new route, also known as the A683, will be used to describe the road and will feature on signposts, maps, and Sat Navs.

The results were:

• The Bay Gateway : 49% (4,520 votes)
• Albert Halton Way (Awarded the Victoria Cross in World War 1) : 24% (2,216 votes)
• Heysham Link : 17% (1,598 votes)
• Heysham Way : 10% (959 votes)

A total of 9,293 votes were cast by the public. People could vote online, as well as in person at the Lancaster Visitor Information Centre on Meeting House Lane and the Morecambe Visitor Information Centre on Marine Road Central.

More than 100 suggestions ("White Elephant" was quickly discounted, we imagine) were given for the official name of the long-awaited new road, which is due to open later this year. And they were whittled down to the four choices for the public to vote on.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Morecambe Bay is one of the most well-known and best loved parts of our county. The new road will bring people to the bay, so it seems a very fitting choice for the name.

"The name will start to appear on Sat Navs, maps and signs, making this an important landmark in this major project.

"Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. It's generated a lot of discussion about people's favourites.

"I'm looking forward to being able to travel along The Bay Gateway when it opens later this year."

County Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said: "The Bay Gateway will bring new commercial opportunities, especially for the port and for businesses based around Morecambe and Heysham.

"This long-awaited new road will make the area more appealing for businesses by reducing travel times and increasing connections to the regional and national road network. It will also reduce congestion and help people to get around the area, opening up new job opportunities.

"We're delighted to see the progress on the road so far, and we're now looking forward to seeing The Bay Gateway open later this year."

Work on the Lune West Bridge is progressing well, with six out of the 13 concrete pours now complete. The cladding on the canal bridge arch has finished, and the Beaumont Roundabout near the A6 is ready for surfacing.

The southbound slip road onto the motorway opened to traffic on 5th March, and the northbound slip road off the M6 will open in a few days.

Landscaping work is continuing and top soil is currently being put down.

The Heysham to M6 Link Road is being constructed by Costain. Construction began in January 2014, with more than 1.7m cubic metres of earth moved so far.

The new £124.5m link road will complete the connection from the Heysham peninsula directly to the M6, providing better access to Morecambe and industrial areas which include the Port of Heysham and the Heysham power stations.

Heysham port, the third largest in the North West, is developing as a hub for services to Ireland. It is the supply base for major offshore gas fields and wind farms.

The County Council remains adamant the road will reduce congestion in the Lancaster area especially on Caton Road, Morecambe Road and the Greyhound and Skerton bridges.

The main part of the scheme involves 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.

In related news, Morecambe MP David Morris has asked if the Government will consider "trunking" the new Heysham M6 Link Road (which is nothing to do with white elephants). He says trunking a road recognises it as a strategic route and lifts it out of the category of a local road and into the responsibility of the Highways Agency.

• For updates on the work, follow @Heysham_Link on Twitter or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/heyshamlink

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