WORK will begin on Blackburn’s new £5 million bus station on Monday.

The construction of the new facility is the first phase of the Pennine Reach scheme which is a £40 million major transport scheme that the council believes will improve links between Blackburn, Darwen and Accrington.

Ainsworth Street will close from Monday to allow the construction of the bus station on the site of the former six day market and a new pedestrianised area in front of the Mall.

There will be 14 stands which will feature the latest technology to allow passengers to plan their journeys by bus.

It will also be fully manned in a bid to improve security and provide the travellers with customer information and ticket purchasing facilities.

The station is due to be completed in January 2015.

An interim bus station has been built in Ainsworth Street while the new one is being constructed.

Councillor Maureen Bateson, executive member for regeneration for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “A better transport network is essential for economic growth. It will help businesses who are wanting to expand and encourage new employers to come to the town, creating jobs for local people.

“Pennine Reach is aimed at making public transport a real alternative to the car, reducing congestion and emissions for everyone.”