MORE than £1m funding for the long-awaited Green Lane link in Tarleton was announced in the county council’s budget.
The link will provide an alternative route for HGVs between Taylor’s Meanygate and Southport New Road, effectively extending Green Lane to join the main road.
A roundabout will also be built near Southport New Road which will reduce accidents on the A565.
The £2m project was agreed by Lancashire County Council under the Local Transport Plan in 2011, with £100,000 allocated towards the road between 2011 and 2013 with the rest of the funds set to follow.
But fears that the project could have been delayed due to the current economic climate have been allayed after the council allocated £100,000 in its Capital Investment Programme for 2013/14 and £1.15m the following year.
The remaining funding for the project will be allocated at a later date. County councillor Malcolm Barron, who has been campaigning for the road since 1999, said he was “delighted” with the announcement, and now expected work on the link to be completed by 2016.
He said: “I was worried the project might be delayed due to funding issues so I’m delighted this amount has been put forward in the budget.
“One of our priorities is road safety. The last report I saw showed their had been two fatalities and 36 accidents over a five-year period along the stretch between Tarleton traffic lights and the junction at Moss Hey Lane.”
Once the link is in place residents in Tarleton, Hesketh Bank and Banks will be spared HGVs driving through the villages.
And citing the difference the inclusion of the roundabout on the A565 will make, Cllr Barron added: “This will hopefully cut down the number of deaths on the A565 and improve the quality of life for villagers.”
The next step for the link will be for planning permission to be secured. Work will then be set to start by 2015.
Other elements of the county budget included £3.7m to fund 48 new Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs), across the county – with four to be allocated to West Lancashire. While 1m has been set aside for refurbishment of libraries across the county.
The county has also cut council tax by 2% in its budget, which comes in the final year of a three-year savings programme, over the course of which the council will have spent £215m less on management and administration.
Council leader Geoff Driver said: “The county council has managed its finances very well despite huge reductions in funding and that has put us in a strong enough position to cut council tax while announcing new investments and continuing to make savings.”