Plans for a new railway station to service a growing area of a Lancashire borough will take a step forward with the search for a construction contractor.

Lancashire County Council who are leading the Cottam Parkway project in Preston, agreed at their cabinet meeting to start the process to procure a contractor for the build.

Planning approval would still be needed before any work can start, but having a contractor in place will make the process quicker.

The new railway station is proposed for the north-west side of Preston between Lea Road and Sidgreaves Lane.

It will provide extra transport options for people travelling to and from the city centre, open up new opportunities for business and leisure journeys, and increase access to mainline rail services.

The new station will also help to reduce congestion in Preston city centre by providing Park and Ride options by train.

The station will serve existing residential area and the developing areas in north west Preston where new homes are being built.

It will also serve the wider Fylde and Wyre area thanks to connections to the nearly completed Preston Western Distributor road scheme.

Cabinet member for highways and transport at the county council, County Councillor Charlie Edwards, said: "This is another important stage in the creation of this new station on the north west side of the city.

"By having a contractor ready and in place, we can move more quickly once we've got planning approval.

"We're proud to be developing these plans for a brand new railway station to benefit the emerging communities, new home developments and other transport improvements in north west Preston.

"By providing alternatives to car use, it will help to reduce congestion in and around the city centre and elsewhere on the road network."

The construction includes the railway station with a footbridge and lifts to the platforms, a car park with electric charging points and bike storage.

It will also include a new access road from Cottam Link Road and a canal bridge.

A planning application is expected to be submitted later this year.

Once planning approval has been granted, construction is estimated to take around 18 months.

Funding for the station has comes from the Department for Transport's Transforming Cities Fund and the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

The City Deal is an agreement between Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and the county council, along with central government and Homes England.

Cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, Councillor David Borrow, said: "We are pleased to learn that the Cottam Parkway project has reached the next stage of development, with the procurement search for a construction contractor getting underway.

“The rail infrastructure plans for north west Preston will be a great addition to the existing transport on offer.

“In line with the Department for Transport’s plans to boost the Preston City region, the Cottam Parkway project will provide more sustainable travel alternatives for people to choose, which will help reduce road traffic congestion, promote a greener transport system and allow for growing and developing communities, businesses and visitor numbers to our city.”

The Transforming Cities funding will enable the county council to work with partners to fundamentally change the way people travel into and around Preston city centre, and improve the local environment.

The TCF funding from the Department for Transport marks the first stage of a vision to transform the wider Preston City Region, so that it continues to be one of the most productive city regions in the UK and becomes one of the most environmentally sustainable, people-friendly and attractive places in the UK to live, work and enjoy.

Find out more about the railway station proposals at