Monday, 15 September 2014

Chaotic City Centre road closure to last for two months

(Updated 16/9/14): As local drivers may have noticed, United Utilities have today moved into Phase 4 of their upgrade of the local sewer system, which involves closing part of North Road from the car park facing Marco's Restaurant to the Friary pub in the north-east corner of the one-way system, and diverting traffic along Bulk Road and St Leonardgate.

You can download a map and explanation of the road changes here.

The bad news  is that North Road will remain closed for two months from today.

City centre traffic ground to a halt today, on the first day of closures with traffic inching along Cable Street, Parliament Street and Bulk Road and backed up around the one-way system, across Skerton Bridge and for about a mile coming in on Caton Road, giving drivers ample opportunity to admire the new green-coloured signs declaring that Lancaster is open as usual for business.

Part of the problem was the lack of warning signage along the route and along other affected tributary roads, which meant that drivers are not apprised of road layout changes and have little way of working out where they needed to go along the diversion to arrive at their destination - resulting in a stream of traffic re-entering North Road and having to be re-diverted through the car park for another circuit around the diversion.

Although some notice was given in the Lancaster Guardian, it is not clear why warnings about the severity of the disruption were not posted along the actual roads due to be affected in the month prior to the works, which is the standard and most direct means of communicating with the drivers regularly using these routes. Posting signs saying that the city is "Open for business" is somewhat missing the point.

There is still no indication when approaching Lancaster city centre that the northern end of the city is gridlocked and so drivers are not offered the opportunity to select alternative routes.

However, all businesses are indeed still open as usual, so please continue to support them.

Here's a rundown of the temporary road changes (please refer to map above):

North Road and Rosemary Lane

  • North Road is closed at the junction with Rosemary Lane and Chapel Street
  • Rosemary Lane is now made two-way to allow traffic to gain access up to the junction with North Road
  • Chapel Street is made two-way to allow traffic to gain access up to the junction with North Road
  • Delivery traffic and cars wanting to use the car park off North Road will turn left out of Bulk Road and onto Parliament Street
  • North Road is made two-way between the junction with Chapel Street and Phoenix Street. All traffic from this area will exit onto Parliament Street via a temporary opening in the central reservation at the bottom of Phoenix Street
St. Leonardgate, Bulk Road and Phoenix Street 
  • Through traffic and City Centre traffic is being redirected to St. Leonardgate which is now one-way only between Bulk Road and Great John Street
  • Bulk Road between Ridge Lane and St. Leonardgate remains two way but with access restricted to buses and residents only. The junction with St. Leonardgate is now a bus gate with only buses allowed to exit onto St. Leonardgate
  • Bulk Road between St. Leonardgate to Caton Road is one-way with through traffic and City Centre traffic turning left off Caton Road
  • Bulk Road is restricted to one lane of traffic outside the retail park with access clearly signposted for customers to the retail park
  • Phoenix Street will be closed to all traffic, except deliveries to the retail park unloading bay

Some bus services are currently unable to serve Lancaster bus station and are operating instead from Dalton Square or Common Garden Street.  There will also be some temporary timetable changes to allow extra time for diversions and congestion. Information and new timetables are available from the Tourist Information Centre, the Bus Station Travel Shop or phone 0871 200 22 33. You can also download an overview of the temporary bus terminus plan here


Pedestrians can still use the footpaths around the working area.

The Good News

The good news is that the traffic that does eventually manage to reach the Greyhound Bridge is moving very freely there and along Morecambe Road towards Morecambe for the first time in years. 

1 comment:

Tony Dodgson said...

traffic is flowing well