Edith Rigby Way opened to the public at 11am on 3 July. Credit: via Lancashire County Council

£207m Preston link road opens to public

Main contractor Costain has wrapped work on the Preston Western Distributor scheme, which comprises three roads connecting the city with the M55.

Edith Rigby Way, named after the famous Preston suffragette, is the largest of the three roads and links A583 Blackpool Road with Junction Two of the M55.

The two smaller roads, William Young Way and Avice Pimblett Way, will provide links to the northwest of Preston and Cottam. These roads are named after a Victoria Cross recipient and the city’s first female mayor, respectively.

Construction on the roads began in 2019. Lancashire County Council, which is in charge of the project, hopes that the new thoroughfares will reduce congestion and support the delivery of a proposed Cottam railway station.

Funding for the £207m project came from the Department for Transport ad the Lancashire Growth Deal, which is managed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. Lancashire County Council, National Highways, and the Preston and Lancashire City Deal.

City Deal is an agreement between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Preston City Council, South Ribble Council, and Lancashire County Council – and includes a £334m infrastructure programme.

Praising the road opening, roads minister Richard Holden said: “Hundreds of thousands of Lancashire residents rely on our local road network to get around for work, education, hospital appointments and to see loved ones, whether that’s by car, bus, or cycling and walking.

“That’s why it’s fantastic to see the new Edith Rigby Way finally open thanks to this government’s £31 million investment, which will help reduce congestion, cut journey times and create new local jobs, as we continue to improve transport connections to grow the economy.”

Similarly, Lancashire County Council Leader Cllr Phillippa Williamson described the road opening as “a significant achievement in our ongoing efforts to improve connectivity and access to public transport infrastructure in Lancashire”.

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Waste of money, induced demand means it will be congested again in three years

By Anonymous

Great news this will make a real difference. Needs the new bridge across the River Ribble now to Howick Cross in Penwortham to really make an impact on congestion around Preston.

By Katie

Once again the Preston centric county council invest in the west of the county whist the east of the county Pendle Burnley etc are ignored when the transport infrastructure is poor and the opportunities for growth and new jobs is both much needed and has potential. This is a strong argument for the local government restructuring with a combined authority and unitary councils like the rest of the north . Otherwise Lancashire willl continue to fall behind the rest of the north and ignore many areas of the county that aren’t around Preston

By George

It would be good to see a further road linking the A585 to the A59, bridging the river Ribble to effectively create a ring road around Preston.


These new roads open up space and access to development along side the road- I d like to see a couple of hundred acres of land used to build houses and industrial units here to maximise the return on investment

By Stuart wood

A map would be helpful.

By Tony Heyes

Why would you need a ring road round a village?

By Anonymous

I agree with the others, a new bridge over the Ribble is key.

By John

Total waste of money, as another poster mentioned this will just cause induced demand with more congestion and more pollution. Disgraceful.

By David Tilson

So it was all ready for opening on Sunday. But the powers that be decided to let people sit in the traffic jam on Sunday for 7.5 hours passing the closed junction because somebody hadn’t ‘cut the red tape to officially open it ! That’s despicable!

By Jonathan Turner

I’d like to see a lot of development around here. Hopefully some hi-rises

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

£207 million on a new road, yet they can’t fix a few potholes. 🤔

By Tom

As others have mentioned, it requires a bridge over the Ribble to become the link road by-passing the city centre (linking the M6, M65, M61 and M55) it’s primary purpose was to open up BAe Warton which is now easier to access from the motorway and releases the area for other businesses. As with all road-building, large tranches of undeveloped land become prime for development as witnessed over the last 10 years or so in the area.

By 7ish

Agree with the above posts, £200m on a new road in a climate emergency does not make logical sense. We should be moving away from car dependency and investing in public transport/active travel especially the benefit/cost ratio returns which are huge.

By Induced demand

A road in Preston will make no difference to the so called climate emergency but nice trolling

By Gilly

Build roads and folk use them. What a waste of money.

By Anonymous

‘Gilly/Dan/DH’ etc

‘ A road in Preston will make no difference to the so called climate emergency but nice trolling’

The irony.

Look in the mirror.


200m that could have been used for a tram line or cycling network

By Anonymous

Great …my journey time from Lea Town to Blackburn greatly reduced and hopefully will take all the traffic off the country lanes 🤞🏽

By Fee Salisbury

Many days I have travelled along the M55 and watched the progress of the construction of the junction with Edith Rigby Way and cannot help but compare the progress of this project with one back in 1970-71 that I worked on, namely the M602 Eccles By-pass and Interchange. The differences are alarming! The differences between the costs largely displays the effects of inflation – £203 million for this few km of of dual carriageway with a bridge over the M55 and one or two other structures whereas just under £8 million paid for 5 miles of urban motorway, umpteen bridges , including 8 within the interchange. No, the main difference is the time taken to construct this new project compared to the 22 months that it took to build probably the first seciton of urban motorway in the country and a free-flow interchange with the M62 and the then M63 which eventually became the M60. I was proud of what we did and even more so now that I see how long it takes to build something considerably simpler. Has civil engineering progressed? I don’t think so. It seems to have gone into reverse.

By Lance Fogg

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