A HOST of building projects are to be carried out in the coming weeks as part of £40million transport improvements.

Pedestrian crossings, new roads and car parks will be built in areas of Darwen and Blackburn as the next phase of the Pennine Reach scheme gets into full swing.


Starting on Monday, work at the junction of Branch Road and Bolton Road will see new pedestrian facilities while the road is to be widened with new cycling facilities installed.

It is expected to take 20 weeks to complete and temporary traffic lights will remain throughout the period of the works.

Pennine Reach is a Government-funded scheme to improve the bus network along the Accrington, Blackburn and Darwen corridor.

Improvements are almost complete at Hollins Grove Street, Darwen, with new traffic lights and pedestrian facilities installed.

The new traffic lights will be switched on in a couple of weeks once United Utilities have carried out final connections work while the street is undergoing resurfacing work. A planning application to demolish the former Lancashire Laminators site in Moss Gate, Darwen, is due before this month’s planning and highways committee and, if approved, the building will be knocked down later this month to make way for a new residents’ car park, which will be created in September.

A new car park is also due to be built at Hollins Road in Darwen. Further works in the Earcroft area include new signals at the Birch Hall Avenue junction and a new pedestrian crossing immediately north of View Road, which will commence in the New Year.

Work is also due to start at Ewood shortly where contractors are due to set up their compound in the next week.

Their first task will be to demolish the former Albion Mill in order for work to start on a new link road between the roundabout junction at Livesey Branch Road and Aqueduct Road to take traffic from Bolton Road.

Other work includes new bus shelters in Bolton Road and new traffic signals at the Catterall Street junction with Livesey Branch bion Street. Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration chief Coun Maureen Bateson said: “Pennine Reach is aimed at reducing congestion, making public transport a more attractive option by reducing journey times and improving reliability.

“But it will also bring hundreds of new jobs as key employment sites will be opened up for redevelopment.”