BLACKBURN town centre’s two major transport projects — the new bus terminus and railway station facelift — have been hit by delays.
Network Rail’s scheme to refurbish its train complex is six months behind schedule with work yet to begin.
The £5 million new bus station on Ainsworth Street has also been hit by the unexpected discovery of a fast-flowing drain, which may add weeks to the work.
Now engineers have rescheduled foundation work to minimise delay to next December’s proposed completion date.
In June, Northern Rail announced a £780,000 facelift for the train station to complement the £33 million Cathedral Quarter regeneration with plans to spend £600,000 brightening the concourse. Brother and sister business partners Awais and Nighat Anwar proposed to invest £180,000 to turn the ‘Transit Lounge’ cafe into a new Subway Metro coffee bar, opening in the autumn.
The Northern Rail scheme includes new automatic doors and entrance glazing, anti-slip flooring, new wall cladding, CCTV cameras and handrails on the access ramp and stairs.
The existing roof and front canopy of the main concourse will be refurbished. Northern Rail’s head of corporate communications Carolyn Watson said: “Work to enhance the concourse area at Blackburn station was postponed last year as the Northern franchise was due to finish at the end of March 2014, and the work would not have been complete by then.
“In March, the Department for Transport said we will continue to operate until February 2016, so we can deliver the project.
“A rail industry panel will determine the timings but we hope we will be able to begin work on site soon. Plans for the Subway Express continue to progress and will not be impacted by other work.”
Council regeneration director Brian Bailey said: “The bus station is still on track to be completed early in the New Year.
“As with any major regeneration projects, there are always slight changes to the planned programme.
“A large drain has been found on the site which was not on the original plans."
Mrs Anwar said: “The delay is obviously unfortunate but Subway have promised to speed up work on the new Metro coffee bar.”