Driving South on the M6 just after the 2 lanes of the M55 join from Blackpool taking care to watch the signs, one tells you that a road is going to merge from the left. This hardly noticed road is the entrance from junction 31a a junction added to the M6 Preston bypass when it was converted to 4 lanes in the early 1990's.
Going north the junction is signposted with overhead signs as the M6 rises out of the Ribble Valley the junction is signed as Preston East and Longridge B6243, a way through to Fulwood and Ribblehead as well as a southern way through to Longridge in eastern Lancashire.
The junction is of unusual design the exit and entry slip roads splay away from the motorway to join the B road at 2 separate roundabouts, the B road joins these two roundabouts by a bridge under the M6. Why was this junction built? When the Preston Bypass was first built a lot of the area that is now East Preston was fields, over the years new housing estates and industrial estates have taken over from the fields, with the widening of the M6 someone felt it appropriate to serve this area with a junction no doubt to promote industrial growth with the prospect of Preston becoming a city. Should it have been built? Properly not it is always destined to be a quite junction, east Preston can be easily reached both from junction 31 and 32 though going slightly out of your way, whilst Longridge can certainly be reached from both junctions, this junction being some what of a luxury rather than a necessity.