|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||6.4 miles (10.3 km)|
|Meets:||A584, B5410, B5233, A5230, A5073, A5099|
|Route outline (key)|
The route begins in Lytham at the junction of Fairlawn Road and the A584, next to the YMCA playing fields. After less than 100 m, the B5261 bears left onto Church Road at a junction with the C282. Eastbound traffic at this point is heavily encouraged to turn right onto Fairlawn Road to join the A584, a policy which began during a short-lived experiment with a pedestrianised system in Lytham town centre some time during the 1980s.
The B5261 continues along Church Road until the junction with Cambridge Road, after which it veers right as Blackpool Road, on the approach to the aptly-named Skew Bridge crossing the South Fylde railway line. Shortly after crossing Skew Bridge, we encounter the first of two surviving milestones, near the junction with Bridge Road.
Along the entirety of Church Road and Blackpool Road, the right-hand side of the road is bounded by pebble-dashed walls which mark the original boundary of the Clifton Estate. This area is now occupied by the Lytham Hall Park and West Park housing estates, and Fylde Rugby Club. On the left-hand side of Blackpool Road is the busy shopping area of Ansdell. Blackpool Road has two mini roundabouts, the first giving access to a small housing complex and the Blossoms Pub, and the second leading onto the C281 Albany Road.
Blackpool Road finishes at a set of traffic lights. Ahead lies the B5410 which, apart from the first few hundred metres, is patently unfit for purpose as it consists of a single-track road with passing places. The B5261 continues to the left and northwards along Heyhouses Lane, passing a private dwelling which was once the Trawlboat Inn. It is not to be confused with the present pub in St Annes town centre, operated by a major chain, which has assumed the name. After passing the junction with Smithy Lane, which marks the boundary between Lytham and St Annes, we find the second surviving milestone.
Heyhouses Lane continues past the former Hewlett-Packard site on the left, which was formerly the Lytham St Annes site of the Department of National Savings, best known as the former location of the "Ernie" Premium Bond random-number generator. These days there is a small housing estate behind a small park, a pub named The Water's Edge, and a Booths store. The park is a site of special scientific interest, as it includes undisturbed land that has provided evidence that it was once at the water's edge, hence the name of the pub. The road then meets, in short order, Singleton Avenue (a popular rat run), the busy junction with the B5233 St Annes Road East, and another junction at the Queensway pub. To the left at the latter junction, is the grandly-named Blackpool Road North - which, since the construction of Blackpool Airport, can no longer be used to reach Blackpool. However, this road was at one time the B5261, first joining directly with St Annes Road in Blackpool (the B5261 ended on the A583 Waterloo Road) - and later, following the Second World War, still continuing onto what's now part of the current airfield but then diverted sharp right onto Division Lane, to the junction with the present Common Edge Road.
In order to reach Blackpool today, we must continue on the present B5261, now also called Queensway.
The road continues to a traffic-light junction with Kilnhouse Lane, marking the beginning of the last remaining rural part of the B5261, as it passes the end of the airport's main runway with farmland to either side of the road. This part of Queensway forms a gentle arc; there is a more direct footpath to the left following the route of the former road, Moss Edge Lane.
The B5261 enters the Marton area of Blackpool as Common Edge Road. To the right is the present Division Lane. To the left are the remnants of Moss Edge Lane - now a footpath - and the unnamed track that used to be part of Division Lane but which these days only leads to the South Shore Cricket Club and some playing fields. In earlier decades this part of Division Lane extended as far as the beach, crossing the railway line just south of the former Pontins site, over a bridge which was demolished in the early 1970s.
For the first couple of miles through Blackpool, the road passes through an district which has undergone a slow and reluctant transition from a semi-rural market-gardening area to a full-fledged suburb of Blackpool. Landmarks along this stretch include a junction with the C260 School Lane, the historic Shovels Pub, and a major intersection where we cross the A5230 Squires Gate Link Road. At this junction can be seen a low set cobble and brick cottage, which was once typical of the architecture of the area.
The B5261 Common Edge Road continues towards the Highfield Pub, where it becomes Hawes Side Lane. After passing under the former Central Railway Line, now Yeadon Way, we pass the Empire Bingo Hall on the right and cross a couple of mini roundabouts. We then pass the Lane Ends Pub, heralding the end of Hawes Side Lane at Spen Corner, a large junction with the A5073 Waterloo Road.
The penultimate road forming the B5261 is Ansdell Road. Along this road can be found a small local shopping centre and the Bloomfield Pub at the junction with Bloomfield Road. Ansdell Road continues for a short distance to a roundabout with Grasmere Road, the last part of the B5261. Grasmere Road finishes at the mini roundabout on the A5099 Central Drive, only a few hundred metres south of Blackpool Town Centre, confirmed by the clear view of Blackpool Tower.
The Blackpool Airport road diversion, between Lytham St. Anne's and Blackpool, was opened on 30 April 1954. The new road was built further inland to allow for a new runway at the then named Squires Gate Airport. Cost £114,500. The closed road went between Blackpool Road North and St Annes Road.