|Distance:||19 miles (30.6 km)|
|Meets:||A583, A5230, A5073, A5099, A586, A587|
|Old route now:||A5230, B5262, A5073, A5099|
|Route outline (key)|
The A584 is not usually a major road, except in peak summer seasons and when the famous Blackpool Illuminations are on. There are many marked contrasts between sections on this relatively short route along the Fylde coast.
Clifton - Cleveleys
The A584 starts at a signalised T-junction with the A583 west of Preston and is immediately a huge dual carriageway which gives the impression of being a pre-war arterial, but do not be fooled! It was dualled much later, in the late 1960s; before then it was a suicide lane all the way to Freckleton. Until recently the road had a 70 mph speed limit as far as the eastern edge of Freckleton, but is now 50 mph from the start of the road until the western end of the 1990s Freckleton Bypass. It's almost entirely built up from here on, and can be a slog in peak seasons.
Continuing through Warton at the western end of the Freckleton Bypass, the A584 passes the large BAE aerodrome site surrounded by the village and continues as an urban road with a 30 mph speed limit for quite some distance. Before too long though, a 50 mph speed limit begins and there is a short semi-rural section across to Lytham where it's back to 30 mph.
The road through Lytham is surprisingly wide, although never marked as anything but two lanes, and has numerous efforts at traffic calming and central hatchings placed throughout its length. It is on this section that there is still a picturesque windmill overlooking the mouth of the Ribble, along with fine views of the water. The road does, however, move inland after a while, with a local road forming the rest of the promenade of Lytham St Anne's. Despite this, the wide Victorian-era road continues without too many interruptions (barring a few signalised junctions and mini-roundabouts). After what does feel for quite some distance, the speed limit suddenly rises to 40 mph, U-turns are prohibited, and signs warn drivers of sand drifts. This has to be one of the more unusual sections of road in the UK, where sand dunes are slowly creeping inland to cover up the roadway! On the right was a Pontin's Holiday Camp, just prior to a return to 30 mph limit at Starr Gate, where the A5230 link to the M55 joins the fun.
Once through here, there is a tramway to the left, which is the only original tramway left in the UK, and well worth a visit. The road, however, stays to the right of the tramway and forms the start of the Illuminations route up the Blackpool Promenade. For many years, this bit of road has attracted nighttime boy racers and is unfortunately now a battery of speed cameras. Passengers can always glance to the left and see Blackpool's brand new sea defences beyond the tramway.
The Promenade has in the early 2010s been subject to a massive reconstruction. Much of the road past the Tower is now a 20 mph shared space, the dual carriageway having been ripped out. The biggest surprise to drivers will be the loss of the famous tram pinch outside the Metropole. This now runs alongside to give new trams priority throughout.
Moving past this junction, the Promenade continues along with the tramway passing various hotels and other establishments ultimately reaching Bispham where the Illuminations end, and traffic is routed back to the M55 via back roads. The A584 itself continues beyond Bispham, however, and makes its way out towards Thornton Cleveleys. This is almost the end of the route, as the Promenade gives way to more residential settings, and moves inland once again. At the junction with the A587, the road suddenly stops - but the tramway continues as the central reservation of that road as it continues up to Fleetwood.
In 1922 the A584 started unexpectedly at grid reference SD435290 in the village of Freckleton; the connection between here and the A583 at Kirkham or Clifton was unclassified. It then followed its current route west to Squires Gate from where it zigzagged through the south of Blackpool, to end on the A587 adjacent to the North Pier.