Councillors have agreed a new strategy setting out Lancashire County Council’s ambitions to deliver a modern and efficient transport network which supports its economy, environment and people’s health.
The Highways and Transport Strategy presents a high-level view of the council’s approach to supporting travel, with a focus on developing better links to areas of job growth – and boosting journey times and reliability – to improve everyone’s daily lives and help people access opportunities across the county.
Supporting sustainable transport is also a key priority in recognition that encouraging people to leave their cars at home for journeys where alternative modes are available can be cleaner, healthier and more cost-effective.
The strategy for 2023 to 2025 agreed by the council’s cabinet on Thursday 19 January covers four main themes:
- Highways asset management – the council’s approach to maintaining Lancashire’s £10bn highways infrastructure in good condition, while reducing the carbon footprint of maintenance activities.
- Network management and safety – how the council will work to improve people’s journeys, reduce casualties and create safe and social neighbourhoods.
- Public transport and active travel – the council’s plans to ensure everyone can benefit from access to bus, rail and other sustainable modes of transport to reduce reliance on the car, with a focus on improving connections both within towns and cities and links with rural areas.
- Strategic partnerships – how the council will establish a pipeline of plan-ready transport projects, and bring partners together to agree priorities in order to leverage future investment to support economic growth, regeneration and levelling-up.
County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Whether we are travelling to see friends and family, access services, get to work or school, or conduct business, our transport networks are used by everyone who lives in and visits Lancashire.
“Our new highways and transport strategy recognises the crucial role which travel plays in our daily lives, and as a key factor in supporting economic growth, social activity, and people’s health and prosperity, as well as the impact that people’s travel choices have on our environment.
“With over 4,300 miles of roads, and all the infrastructure such as bridges, streetlights, and traffic signals which support them, the sheer size and extent of our road network presents a considerable challenge to maintain, and congestion, collisions and emissions all have negative impacts.
“Looking forward, we want a transport system that is simpler to navigate, offers greater choice and convenience, helps to widen people’s opportunities, and makes everyday journeys simpler, safer, greener and more reliable.
“To get there we know we have a big job to do, and this strategy sets out how we plan to employ more innovative, cost-effective and low-carbon solutions to maintain our highways, and work with our residents, businesses, regional partners and government to bring about the investment we need to achieve these ambitions.”