The district continues to benefit from a high quality public transport network with quality bus services operating between the main urban areas and frequent rail services along the west coast mainline. In addition to reliable and frequent public transport links the district also has an excellent cycling network with over 60km of cycle paths. Lancaster and Morecambe was also one of the original six places in the Country to be named a cycling demonstration town in 2005. Funding through this award helped promote the benefits of cycling across the district and provide investment into the cycling network.
The largest transport proposal for the County and number one transport priority in the Lancashire Local Transport Plan, the Heysham to M6 link western route, was granted planning permission in February 2008. This followed a lengthy public inquiry over the summer of 2007. A legal challenge into the decision was overruled by the High Court in August 2008. The road is not anticipated to be completed until 2012.
Lancashire County Council is responsible for Local Transport Planning in the district including the construction of the Heysham-M6 link, local roads, public transport and public rights of way.
The council is responsible for cycling and walking policy and ensuring that new development is sustainable in terms of offering a choice of means of transport.
Key evidence base documents on transport are the following:
- The Lancaster Transport Strategy, prepared by Faber Maunsell in 2008 and containing a wide range of information about transport in the urban area of Lancaster and Morecambe and proposals for improvement.
- Lancashire Local Transport Plan prepared by Lancashire County Council in 2006 and forming the basis for investment decisions in roads and public transport in Lancashire between 2006 and 2012.
- Lancaster Cycling Strategy adopted by council in 2002 and forming the basis of the Cycle Demonstration Town project.
- Lancaster Cycling and Walking Map prepared by the Lancaster Cycle Demonstration Town team and providing regularly updated information on cycling and walking routes in the district.
- Lancashire Rights of Way Improvement Plan prepared in 2005 and forming the basis for measures to increase use of the Public Rights of Way and Access Land network.
- The M6 Jct 20-44 Warrington to Scottish Border Route Management Strategy prepared by the Highways Agency in 2004 and covering the M6 in the district;
- Route Utilisation Strategies for Lancashire and Cumbria and the West Coast Main Line prepated by Network Rail and guiding investment decisions in the district’s rail network.
- Information on local bus and rail services including the Lancaster and Morecambe Bus Map prepared by Lancashire County Council.