Plans for a new railway station at Cottam in Preston have taken a step forwards after county councillors approved the use of powers to acquire land and build an access road for the station.
Work is already underway on detailed designs and a planning application for the Cottam Parkway railway station along with a new access road, and most of the funding needed was secured in March this year with the award of over £22m through the Transforming Cities Fund.
The new two-platform station on the Fylde rail line in northwest Preston is proposed to provide access to the railway network for more than 5,000 new homes, and support access to existing and new job opportunities at the Enterprise Zone at Warton, while reducing pressure on local roads.
A report to Lancashire County Council’s cabinet on Thursday 3 December outlined the need to prepare compulsory purchase orders, as well as legal orders needed to make changes to local roads, as part of the planning process.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The Cottam Parkway railway station is a vital part of our plans to provide the sustainable transport networks needed to support economic growth in Preston and the Fylde.
“Being able to fund such major developments is always key, and with the majority of funding in place earlier this year thanks to the successful Transforming Cities bid, work is now well underway towards the next key milestone of submitting a planning application.
“This requires that we make provision for acquiring all the land needed for the station and the access roads, and we’re already in negotiations with landowners as our preference is to secure land by mutual agreement. However it’s also necessary with such an important scheme to be in a position to acquire land by compulsory purchase if that becomes necessary.
“Cabinet’s decision also gives approval for use of the council’s powers to improve and alter roads in order to progress the new access to the station as part of the planning application.”
The proposed site for the new station is on land west of Lea Road and east of Sidgreaves Lane, near to the former site of Lea Road Station. The main access to the station and its associated car park is to be north of the railway line, on the eastbound line side, with a footbridge providing access to the westbound platform south of the line.
The proposed station will have a car park with access via the Cottam Link Road from the new Preston Western Distributor road, which is currently under construction. It is proposed to include a staffed booking/information office and footbridge to access both platforms, a bus/rail interchange and high-quality pedestrian/cycle links.
It is anticipated that the planning application will be submitted early in 2022 with a start on site later the same year.
A successful bid to the Transforming Cities Fund has secured £22.31m towards the construction of the Cottam Parkway station. A local contribution of £2.13m has been confirmed which includes funding secured through the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
The Transforming Cities funding, totalling £40.4m, will allow the county council to work with partners to progress a number of schemes which aim to fundamentally change the way people travel into and around Preston city centre, and improve the local environment.
The funding from the Department for Transport marks the first stage of a vision to transform the wider Preston City Region to not only continue to be one of the most productive city regions in the UK, but to also become one of the most environmentally sustainable, people-friendly and attractive places in the UK to live, work and enjoy.